Monday, November 28, 2005


Odometer on 9999 miles when I parked to go to the gym today, wound over to 10000 as I set off back to work.

Sunday lunchtime 4-Dec-05 : 10089 miles

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The world turned upside-down

On Monday, driving into town for a work-out, I was stuck behind a young bloke in a high-end Vauxhall who didn't get above 45mph (even on the dual carriageway where I overtook him). Later I was followed closely by a driver who clearly didn't care for my staying a couple of mph under the limit — and he was an old guy in a flat cap!

And we have finally managed to engage builders for some work on the house and things will be chaos from now until whenever!

There was a marvellous red sunset on Monday, too.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Anime — Elfen Lied

It's a comedic harem anime with the same motif as Love Hina — the male set up as a guesthouse caretaker, and the guesthouse fills up with girls. Only this time some of them are telekinetics with the habit of blowing people up in gory explosions, when not being delightfully clueless, in a manner reminiscent of Chobits trainwrecked with Scanners.

It's a wonder this hasn't garnered the nickname “Love Lucy”, based on the name of the main telekinetic girl character.

Conspiracy, violence, gore, and nudity — only in Japan (the Yanks would have blurred out the nipples).

Anime — Jinki Extend

A title that crossed my radar as being associated with a whiff of shoujo-ai; though when I'd picked up the first volume of manga, I just found it incoherent and incomprehensible, not knowing who these people were (or being easily able to distinguish the b&w line drawing girls). The anime was slightly more coherent, though the ragged fade between the two parallel storylines was not well handled, failing to introduce the characters in Japan, or even make clear that this was a bit later and the look-alike of Rui and Ryohei were the characters from the South American thread. The viewer wasn't told as much as any of the characters would have known about what was going on, even.

In the end, the plot was just about explained and resolved, but with a mass of unexplained loose ends (who were those beast-headed people in the early episodes, and why didn't they have anything to do with the ending? Where did the jinki-tech (and Ancient Jinkis) come from?

It was redeemed by very catchy J-pop endpieces, though.

[Later] the incomprehensibility of the manga is apparently explained by Jinki:Extend being a follow-up/complement to an earlier title, Jinki, which followed the South America thread.

Book — Accelerando — by Charles Stross

This is more like it! Iron Sunrise doesn't compare.

The book comes over as an uneasy — edgy — mix of Gibson and Baxter. The post-Cyberpunk ideas flow thick and fast to the Singularity and immediately after, into the ruins of an alien Singularity. And then there is the phase transition, imagination fails. the left behind humans — weakly posthuman — are presented in a straitened state, for all the alien magitech they have to hand; culturally impoverished, retreating to hearth and family.

Not since Star Maker does the experience of the transcendent, or recounting it, seem to have enriched anyone; the authors seem scorched by the flame as they draw back. But at least I felt drawn to devour it in a single sitting.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Soft Southern Jessies

I cycled into town yesterday for the usual brunch and shopping. It was cool early, but by the time I parked my bike, the sun was out and the wind had dropped, so it was perfectly fine for walking around in a T-shirt. I was boggled by the number of people dressed in heavy jackets and scarves — what will they do if it ever gets cold this winter?

On the way back, I stopped for a beer (and to avoid a shower); but apart from that it was amazingly mild as we went out to glorify the 400th anniversary of an attempted terrorist outrage.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Went to Sycamore House on Friday, and bumped into Neil and Angela who had had the same idea. Come dessert time, I choose the blackberry and apple cake and do my usual rant about ice-cream and teeth when it comes accompanied by ice-cream rather than, say, custard. I'm eating, and I find what feels like a large pip. Actually, it's the inboard quadrant of a molar that is one of the ones that have been sensitive to cold.

At least it's not been painful, and it will be patched up again this evening. But what I'd really like is an upgrade.