faustus: (Default)
( Jul. 2nd, 2012 12:03 am)
I've not read the rest of the article - I'm not prepared to pay to do so. Toby Young being a right Jeremy.

"Schools have got to be ‘inclusive’ these days. That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from dyslexia to Münchausen syndrome by proxy. If Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels, the government will have to repeal the Equalities Act because any exam that isn’t ‘accessible’ to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be ‘elitist’ and therefore forbidden by Harman’s Law. "
faustus: (Default)
( May. 11th, 2012 04:39 pm)
Woke this morning to no interwebs, despite kickstarting the router, and then no upstairs phone. A process of elimination led to a snapped phone wire behind the bookshelves.

I have looked accusingly at the cat, who is either telling me I need to get up and feed her earlier or is not doing her bit to cull the local wild life.
faustus: (Default)
( May. 3rd, 2012 01:33 pm)
The same post (on Dreamwidth) seems to have attracted about thirty semipornographic spams. I've friend locked that one - see if that slows things down.
The calZone springs into action once more...

Call INC415334 was opened on 26-04-2012 09:04.

The call details are as follows:

Surname: austus

Call Summary: Classroom Emergency in LG26

I wasn't in Lg26 at 9.04. I have never made this complaint - or if I have, it must have been in a previous year. I was in Lg26 on Monday, but didn't have that problem.
faustus: (Default)
( Sep. 7th, 2011 04:17 pm)
Was wanting to look at the work of an abstract photography, but the wifi here won't let me: "Your request was denied because of its content categorization: 'Art/Culture;Nudity'"

The corrupting impact of the Vorticists must be resisted
faustus: (Default)
( Sep. 6th, 2011 06:56 pm)
... rain already. Chiz.
faustus: (Default)
( Sep. 2nd, 2011 09:04 am)

Dear [Faustus]

This is an urgent message regarding your reservation with the [Genuine, booked] Guest House for 9/9/2011. Unfortunately the hotel is unable to accept your reservation for your upcoming stay. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, we would like to offer you comparable alternate accommodations.

Your reservation has not been cancelled, but due to a limited amount of availability it’s very important that we speak with you as soon as possible.

Please contact our Lodging Specialist at [Long Phone Number] within North America or internationally +800-[Long Phone Number] who will assist you in finding alternate accommodations. Our Lodging Support Department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. Please have your Booking # [Different from the one I had] ready so we can expedite your request. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

[Long Name]

Lodging Support Services

[No long signature file]

Someone has a breach somewhere. Have changed email password.

ETA: Not so much Wake Up Happy TM as Sadly Insomniac.

I think they bolluxed up the booking in the first place.

ETA 2: H*t*ls.c*m finally phoned back - she'd been in a meeting. Wanted to know why I cancelled. I explained I'd been spooked by the mismatched order numbers, and the guest house had not been happy but booked me direct (for a cheaper rate, incidentally).

Having asked me why I'd cancelled, she advised me she would have told me to cancel the booking and book direct.
faustus: (Default)
( Aug. 30th, 2011 05:50 pm)
The survey is meant to take 15 mins - I did it in 5 or less.

At the end it responds:

"Dear Starbucks Customer, Thank you for taking the time to respond to our survey. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us. We have had a phenomenal response to the survey and unfortunately on this occasion we are unable to accept any more responses. However, we very much hope that you will share your views with us in future surveys. Our sincere thanks, The Starbucks Team"

So I've just wasted that time?

ETA: According to what you answer, you get further through the survey. Fair enough to weed out any people who work for rivals, but I stopped at Americano, whereas filter coffee then asked you for type and size of filter coffee. So they are researching particular drinks, not having a phenomenal response.

Yet to have the question which is key: because you have free wifi.
Sunday I'd talked myself into going to Broadstairs for the Old Lookout Gallery and to finally do the Turner and Dickens Walk from Broadstairs to Margate. I'd spent most of the middle of the week in Newcastle, at Alien Nation, which began well by a) getting me soaked in the rain, b) hiding the entrance to the building I needed on the clever map so I actually walked 7/8 around he building and c) got me trapped in a lift. If there was a place for seventies dystopia, this was it. By the time I'd got home, just post midnight, there was no way I'd be in any shape for either of the beer festivals the next day, and spent much of Friday in bed. Indeed, a chunk of Saturday too, so I ended up working late and not getting to sleep until 4.00.

I could have pulled the plug then, as I woke with barely enough time to walk to the station, although I could make it if I caught a taxi. One hundred per cent deficiency in the taxi department, although plenty of South Eastern officials telling Amy Winehouse jokes. No looking at a train two hours later than Plan A - and still thinking I could call it off - I walked into town and Caffe Nerd, having a coffee before heading for the station.

It's a mile to the station.

I will have to retrace those steps.

Let's say it's half a mile from Broadstairs station to the harbour and to the start of the walk.

Fortunately I paused to buy a 1.5 litre bottle of water of Tesco on the way back up the hill - fortunately most of the walk past the station is flat. Fortunately it's hard to get lost on the walk (although the signage in Margate leaves a little to be desired). Then I have to walk from Turner Contemporary to the station.

Another half mile.

I make that seven miles.

At least. In heat.

In the evening I felt the kind of ache that I get from cycling for the first time in months. Muscles pulled you didn't know you had. Both knees seem fine. Just achy. I sleep well. Indeed, I sleep well for most of Monday. Breakfast comes and goes. As does lunch. I force myself up for a bath, and have tea, but it mostly goes uneaten. I don't have the energy to go to the pub. I'm worried about another sleepless night, but I shouldn't have. I recall that I have some aftersun care cream - probably years out of date - but I'm not exactly sunburnt. Dehydration comes into it. It reminds me of the sportsday on my sixth birthday which led me to a 3.30pm bedtime and a sleep right through a birthday tea.

Or maybe I've just made the mistake of stopping.

Maybe it's flu.

I made it up at 11.30am Tuesday and watched two Dario Argento movies. I had two crispbreads for lunch. Some mashed potato for tea. I have some fruit in sight. And an early night.


It's bad for you, I tell you.
Mathilda Episode 1
1/5. Emilia Fox reads the only other finished work of fiction by celebrated author Mary Shelley
A day trip to London - a painless trip to the Whitechapel Art Gallery; train to Victoria then District to Aldgate East rather than the five changes suggested on Travel Direct. (Why did I not remember that Aldgate East is adjacent to the gallery? I wonder if I've always used the wrong exit despite explicit signage?)

Less painless down to Blackheath - via a mistaken use of self-service checkout at Major Supermarket, whose own brand credit cards work everywhere in the world bar Major Supermarket, and whose divi scheme works neither when I want points but pay by cash nor want points but pay by the same card. There's nothing on the card to scan. I pressed the same button as instructed several times.

Walk from there to Whitechapel station and the Overground - which seems actually somewhat underground to me. Two observations, the announcement that a train will stop at all destinations to West Croydon is misleading if there's nothing on the platform to tell you which these are (and New Cross clearly is one of them, but I wouldn't necessarily know that; I cannot remember how New Cross and New Gate relate to each other) and simultaneous announcements on adjacent platforms make both inaudible. I got there.

Last time I went - I believe the day of the Clarkes - I failed to check for opening times on their website and so didn't know (by looking at the contact page on their website) they closed on Wednesday. This being a Thursday, they'd be open, right?


Closed for half term.

I've now checked their website, but there's nothing telling me that.

Oddly enough, the place just appeared on House Gift, with one of the designers spotting something in their window. It wasn't clear that this was filmed on a Wednesday, but the place was shut. Is the Bookshop on the Heath ever open?

I realised I could get back via Gillingham rather than going back into Victoria, but it was an epic journey and I suspect it shaves off only a couple of minutes.

Today... slept in, bad encounter with door to door electricity rep, and seem to have been answering emails. Have I time to read drafts? I suspect not. Not today, anyway.
faustus: (Default)
( Feb. 9th, 2011 08:09 pm)
There was a ring at the doorbell, which was followed by a knocking -- I'd been tempted to ignore it, but it sounded like a postman with a parcel, although I'm not expecting anything. I check that I'm wearing trousers (actually I'm not sure I did) and ran to answer it.

There's a policeman, making inquiries about an incident on the street. In the early hours of New Year's Eve. I think at the time I was having a nose bleed in Estelle and Dave's kitchen in Hull, so I can't have heard anything.

"I think it wasn't loud enough for me to hear," I say.

He looks at me. "Can I take your name?" he asks. And writes it in his book.


A few hours later, I go to the the corner shop to buy a stamp, some tinned fruit and a tin of evap. "Have the police been in?" I ask Julian.

Apparently not, but he'd noticed them around.

"They were asking questions about something on New Year's Eve, so they've sprung into action. I'm guessing it must be coming to trial."

"Ah, there was a disturbance outside the pub," said Julian. "A stabbing."

"Oh, right. Bang goes the neighbourhood."

"Oh," he adds, "it wasn't a serious stabbing."

"Ah, a comical one?" I ask. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
faustus: (Culture)
( Feb. 4th, 2011 03:33 pm)
The secret of Rochester being a bestseller - because, after all, Rochester's own poetry was so clean cut and innocent.

ETA: note this story, awfully close to the phrasing in the Grauniad - http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110402.html

Apparently Rochester wrote anti-porn. YMMV
faustus: (Angry)
( Dec. 1st, 2010 09:23 pm)
  1. Snow balls through the letter box, repeatedly.
  2. When thinking, "Must pay council tax", realise haven't paid credit card bills.
  3. Having installed the updated Scrivener, read message "Old format, cannot open file". Yes, it allows you to converts, but I nearly lost my guts.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Nov. 24th, 2010 09:33 pm)
I kept thinking that I was staying in the CBT in Melbourne in August. Yeah, the Central Business... Central Business ... Town? Tradezone.

No really. )

As they say, some people pay a lot of money for that kind of thing.

£900 for a flight, for a start.

Sometimes my unconscious scares me. At least I haven't told anyone about dreaming about being on a plane with the pope.
The Grauniad Open Door on use of pronouns for the transgendered in reportage: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/08/pronouns-transgendered-people

The comments are a mixed bag, as may be guessed, but this leapt out: "What you fail to acknowledge is that transgenders, by their acts, are aggressive to the larger community around them." To which, WTF?
faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 31st, 2010 10:48 am)
Margaret Atwood was at it again yesterday, on BBC Radio 4's Toady, er, Today Programme, where she was speaking from Davos (which I blearily heard as Davros). (http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8488000/8488841.stm)

The interviewer is one of a new generation on the programme who often respond to an interviewee's sophist response to a tough question with the comment "You've got a point there", and who speculation suggests had nipple rings. He also presents a programme called Dragon's Den (although as Jeremy Hardy has pointed out, dragons don't have dens, they have lairs). He asked her something like, "Apparently you don't like your novels being described as science fiction." (Full marks for avoiding scifi, mind)

No, she said, that would mislead her readers, who might pick up her books thinking they contain dragons or aliens or far far away planets in a distant galaxy. She writes Speculative Fiction which is a subset of science fiction.

Bonus essay question: "Is speculative fiction a subset of science fiction, or vice versa?"

Personally I think she should write an honest to goodness sf novel and get us of her back. The Spacesquid's Tale. Alien Grace. Oryx and Kraken.


faustus: (Default)


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