Print Story What's pink and tastes of rosemary?
Diary
By nebbish (Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:02:23 AM EST) (all tags)
Fred West's cock


Ewww!

Cat sick

I bought an Acer 8204wlmi laptop second-hand off a mate a few months ago. It was a bargain and I was very happy with it.

I went out last Friday, leaving it open on the coffee table in the front room. I ended up staying out all night and getting back late the next evening. My cat doesn't like it when I stay out all night, and vomited on my laptop keyboard in what can only be described as a dirty protest.

I cleaned it up and left it to dry out for about 36 hours. It wasn't long enough. I turned it back on to a load of scary bleeping noises, then after rebooting the keyboard didn't work. A week later most of the keys work but not all of them, and I think this is pretty much permanent now. Worst thing is one of the keys that doesn't work controls the screen brightness, which is now permanently set on dim. I can't find another control for the screen brightness anywhere.

I've attached a USB keyboard, and lucky for me I have a friend who runs an IT support company and is used to fixing this kind of problem - though usually beer and wine are the culprits and not cat sick. He's ordering me a new keyboard. Not sure how much that's going to cost yet but he'll do the repair for free - the cat used to be his.

Anyway, the main reason I'm writing this is because if anything like this happens to you, for god's sake leave the machine off and open for at least a week so it can dry out. I was too impatient.

I wasn't angry at my cat at the time - she's just a cat, she didn't know what she was doing. I definitely don't like her as much as I used to though.

Reading

"Collapse" by Jared Diamond.

Reading this on the recommendation of quite a few people, including our very own Jump the Ladder. It looks at factors which cause societies to fail or survive, taking case studies of Easter Island, desert American Indian tribes, the Maya and the Viking Greenland settlement in the ancient world, and Papua New Guinea, Japan, Rwanda and the US itself in the modern world.

Factors such as erosion, weather conditions, and resources are taken into account. The prevailing theme is that a society will expand according to its resources, but then cannot deal with change that brings about a reduction in those resources.

It is very interesting. In particular I enjoyed reading about Easter Island and the Viking Greenland colonies. But here's my problem - there is a lot of repetition. Diamond obviously wants to be as thorough as possible to properly state his case, but the factors that led to the societies' collapse are usually pretty similar. I ended up skipping quite big chunks, because it's a big book.

His work on Rwanda is probably the most controversial part of the book. He argues that overpopulation was the primary cause of the genocide, and makes a very convincing case based on statistics, a case study made before the genocide, and the patterns of killing in the genocide itself.

I have read a few books about the Rwandan genocide prior to this (the best being "We Wish to Inform you that Tomorrow we will be Killed with our Families" by Philip Gourevitch) and I think Diamond understates the political and colonial dimension. However, his assertion that a simmering and quite bitter struggle for resources was already underway in the tight-knit rural communities that make up the country goes some way to explaining how such a horrifying and perplexing war came about. Whether it was a causal factor though I'm not sure.

"Collapse" is a fascinating read, taking a scientific, anthropological perspective on issues that are too often politicised and riddled with opinion. Highly recommended.

Reading 2

Labyrinth: Corruption and Vice in the LAPD - the truth behind the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie smalls by David Sullivan.

A much better book than it looks this one, another fascinating look at the bizarre place that is Los Angeles, to maybe read as a companion piece to City of Quartz by Mike Davis.

Labyrinth looks at black street gang infiltration of the LAPD in the years following the Los Angeles riots. Sullivan's theory is that following the riots race became too sensitive an issue for the LAPD to tackle, allowing wealthy black gang members such as Suge Knight of Death Row records to wield influence within the force by recruiting or bribing black police officers. Sullivan also implicates Knight in the high-profile murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, and the LAPD in a cover up that followed.

Obviously this is tricky territory and I did take Sullivan's theories with a pinch of salt. Very occasionally his language nearly tips over into political-correctness-gone-mad territory, but not often or explicitly enough for me to think he has any kind of agenda.

It's a ripping read. Suge Knight is a terrifying character straight out of a comic book, threatening rap artists with guns, a tank full of piranhas or even sodomy to get them to sign over the rights to their songs. People like Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, who compared to me and you are pretty fucking hard, live in fear of him and eventually buy their way out of their contracts just to get away. Couple this with his business acumen and you get a formidable organised criminal network that Sullivan believes is much more powerful than people think. Sullivan also writes well, and manages to get across a good amount of atmosphere without clouding his investigative journalism.

After reading the book I was left wondering what he's up to now. Did he have to go into hiding?

Watching

Saw Cloverfield. Wasn't too keen on the idea of this - there are just too many bad monster films, especially ones about Godzilla-type creatures terrorising New York - but was actually blown away by it. Despite the extremely annoying, vapid characters, the depiction of the 9/11-style terror and chaos of Manhattan under siege is brilliantly done and actually pretty frightening.

Also saw Jumper. Just don't bother, it's shit.

< Who pickled a peck of picked peppers? | on plans >
What's pink and tastes of rosemary? | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
From experience by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:38:27 AM EST
Most keyboards are a membrane type; taking laptop keyboard apart, washing the membrane under a tap, and wiping the circuit board with a SLIGHTLY damp cloth works most of the time.

You may want to use an alcohol solution instead of water or distilled water (e.g for car batteries/ironing) for cleaning the circuit board but it is not essential

Wait until membrane is dry before putting it together


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
How about by Phage (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:47:07 AM EST
Digital cameras ?
Ones soaked in neat vodka to be precise.


[ Parent ]
Depends by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:51:04 AM EST
If you're sober enough to dismantle the camera and place the components on a radiator to dry thoroughly it should be fine.

Of course I always end up with a few screws and bits left over when I try this....


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
I had this advice by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:54:04 AM EST
I'm not very confident about opening the laptop, but I'm going to be present when my mate does it so I can do it in future.

I sort of think once it's open I might as well stick a new keyboard in. My mate reckons he can salvage one for nothing now as well.

I'll probably clean the old keyboard and keep it though, just in case it happens again.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Cloverfield by lm (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:47:18 AM EST
I quite like kaiju films. I don't think Cloverfield really fits into the genre. Unlike any movie monster film I've seen, the monster was secondary to the plot. There were real characters and a real story in there and the fact that a monster was involved wasn't really necessary to the plot, it could have been any large scale catastrophe. Off the top of my head, from any version of Gozilla to any version of King Kon or Gamera, I can't think of any other kaiju film that you could do that with.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Good point by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:59:18 AM EST
Though I have to say I didn't like the characters much. For me, all the trappings of the disaster - the mobile medical units, the looting, the panicking soldiers - are what really made the film.

You're right though, the monster was hardly needed. It could possibly have been more effective if the source of the chaos was unseen throughout the film.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
The characters were all asshats by lm (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:28:26 AM EST
But I was drawn in anyway because they were all very much like people I know.

But I also agree with you about the disaster response aspects of the film. In many ways, it was like the chaos was a character.

I also agree that the film would have been even stronger if the monster didn't come on screen at all.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
That helped for me by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:51:40 AM EST
The characters all being asshats, and none of the characters being heroic in the classic vein, was what made the movie better.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I've got issues with my cat when we're by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:41:23 AM EST
away also. I'm thinking about getting a cat shrink. Seems to me that there's got to be a way to go out and not have the cat getting mad.

"It's the abstract I deal in; software, and donuts." MohammedNiyalSayeed
I dunno by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:46:42 AM EST
They're social animals and they like company. I dunno if there's much that can be done.

Is yours intelligent? Mine is. Very. Hence homing in on my most expensive possession. The more intelligent they are the easier they got bored and frustrated I think. She's actually very well behaved, even considerate the rest of the time.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
cat protest by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #10 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:56:38 AM EST
Mine's pretty good. Worst case, she'll pee in the shower and slap my face at around four in the morning.

[ Parent ]
Mine's usual trick by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:01:15 AM EST
Is pissing in my bed. Always a joy when you get in drunk and knackered at 3 in the morning.

I'm making her sound awful. I should also mention she likes snuggling up in my armpit, resting her head on my shoulder and gazing into my eyes.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
lol by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #12 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:08:02 AM EST
They're terribly manipulative creatures. When mine pulled the bin over to gorge on plastic salami wrapping and then barf it into my bed, somehow she still got me thinking 'aww, when she feels sick she goes to where she feels safe'. All with a few purrs and gentle headbutting.

[ Parent ]
Hah by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:31:33 AM EST
Sorry that's really funny

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Ours shits by hulver (4.00 / 2) #25 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:06:51 PM EST
In the worst places possible. Pile of clean washing?

Neatly coiled pile of cat turd on top.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
Good grief by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #26 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:14:36 PM EST
I thought that I was the only one with a psycho cat, what with the berating whenever I walk in the door, the vocal protestations whenever a man is over and the peeing in LO's room along the baseboard.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
[ Parent ]
Thankfully by hulver (4.00 / 1) #27 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:17:03 PM EST
It's not very often we manage to upset them that much.

When we do though, it's watch out nice things.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
That's actually not too bad by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #30 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:41:26 PM EST
Ours is in an all-male household and loves it when girls come over, she won't leave them alone. Which as you can imagine can be a bit annoying.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I was confused by Herring (4.00 / 2) #14 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:50:51 AM EST
I started reading a nebbish diary, then half way down I was reading a Theophile Escargot diary.

I had heard Darfur described as the first Global Warming War. Drought in their part of the country having driven the Janjaweed (?) militias to go and kick the shit out of people in areas with water. As always with these things, it's hard to pin it down.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

TE's looking for stuff to read at the moment by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:59:51 AM EST
I thought I'd make a couple of suggestions.

It's really difficult to work out what's going on in these conflicts at the time they're happening - think of Bosnia. The perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide were moved to refugee camps in the aftermath of the conflict it was so unclear what had actually happened. It's the same with Darfur, we won't know for a while yet what's going on. Partly because western governments don't give a flying fuck.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
They look interesting by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #21 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:45:54 AM EST
Might give Labyrinth ago, though not sure I know enough about hip-hop to understand it.

I'll probably get around to Jared Diamond in the end, but I think it will have a high irritant value for me. I find the "big, simple explanations for complicated things" a bit annoying at the moment. In some ways it's even worse if they get some things right: if they're completely hopeless you can at least enjoy ripping them apart.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
That put me off for a while by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #28 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:37:33 PM EST
But it's worth it for the histories of Easter Island and the Viking Greenland settlement. I'm not sure about his central thesis, but it's an interesting way of looking at things.

Labyrinth is a true crime book first and formost, you don't really need to know anything about hip-hop. To be honest though, from what I know of your reading I'm not sure if it's your sort of thing. I mentioned "City of Quartz" by Mike Davis, which is a sociological history of Los Angeles. If you haven't read that I'd certainly recommend it.

I'll try and keep the reviews coming anyway :)

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Cloverfield, Collapse by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #15 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:30:56 AM EST
Could not care any less about the yuppie heroes, kept laughing at them and their predicament. It's a great source for MST3K type of yelling at the screen.

Got kicked out before the end, sincerely hope all the 'heroes' ended up as monster chow.

Collapse is OK but, as you said, repetitive. Especially if you've read Guns, Germs & Steel. His work is more suited to a classroom than light reading. Pity Simon Winchester didn't tackle those issues.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

SPOILER ALERT by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #18 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:03:27 AM EST
You'll be pleased to hear they all die. All of them.

It was the other stuff I liked, the chaos and how the government was trying to deal with it. It was good enough for me to ignore the irritating idiots somnehow.

Heh glad you got kicked out of the cinma, that really is something.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
no they don't? by Imperial Mince (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:22:18 PM EST
the main guy's brother's girlfriend gets on a different helicopter, and the monster doesn't get that one?
--
This space reserved for whining like a little bitch and being sanctimonious.
[ Parent ]
Oh shit yeah by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:33:55 PM EST
I forgot about them

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Simon Winchester by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:07:09 AM EST
Just had a look on Amazon, looks interesting. Any particular recommendations?

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Start with Krakatoa. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #24 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:59:43 AM EST
Then "The Professor and the Madman" and "The Meaning of Everything", both about the OED.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
POLL: Certainly it will need fixed. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #16 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:07:25 AM EST
You didn't simply dump a glass of water on it. That's HCl under there.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Yeah by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #19 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:04:38 AM EST
I bet it's pretty grim under there...

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Collapse by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #23 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:56:42 AM EST
My biggest problem with the book was that most of his examples where cultures that were relatively simple and isolated, so I found the idea that you could extrapolate to something large and complex like the modern world economy unconvincing.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Oh definitely by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:39:04 PM EST
I haven't got to the end yet but I can see that coming, and have pre-emptively decided that I'll disagree.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
What's pink and tastes of rosemary? | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback