27 November 2005

Stop The Traffic ... Yo Soy Senor BumbleBee!

This morning I was cruising along Queen Street, well stuck in traffic, on my way to get my hair lopped off. The car still has the extra security and go faster stripes as pictured here and here (it lives on the top of our aerial). There were two lanes going straight ahead and one turning right, although the straight ahead lanes were reduced to just one real lane due to dozens of parked cars. Anywho, stuck behind a lorry the car behind me sneaks out and pulls up right alongside me, essentially trying to pass me as soon as the lorry moved on - what incredible cheek! I noticed the driver seemed to gesturing to me, probably to say "can I sneak in there please, I'm in a rush". I lowered my window as we sat there waiting to accelerate off into the soon-to-be space ahead of us both and the guy said "Excuse me, can you tell me where you got your bumble bee from?". I've just stopped laughing about it now!

The Chase Is On, The Premiership Looks Right Now!

Finally, after 13 (14 for some), the Premiership table finally looks right. Liverpool are playing at Sunderland (our game in hand) on Wednesday evening and, after we win that by two clear goals, and we will, the top four will look like this:
    Played     Goal Difference     Points
1     Chelsea     14     26     37
2     Man Utd     13       8     27
3     Arsenal      13     12     26
4     Liverpool    13       7     25
That looks a lot better rather than Wigan and Tottenham being in the top four, the chase can finally start! I think the end of the season it will end Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd fourth. Bookmakers beware my accurate psychic prediction!

25 November 2005

Would You Bee-Lieve It? The Gods Are Having A Pillow Fight

Forty-five minutes ago the streets were grey and dark. Then there was a tiny hint of snow. Now it's like God is having a pillow fight (with Buddah and the rest of them) up above us. Take a look at this and these pictures to get a feel of it (who needs a window anymore?). I hope our car will be okay, we only just put yellow and black go faster stripes on it at the weekend and added a protection system...

22 November 2005

Itchy Knee Sun She Go Rock! IQ Testing Here!

A friend of mine, Samantha (take a bow), sent me a link to a very taxing game. The rumour is it's an IQ test used by Japanese companies. The object is simple, get all people across the river. The test can now be taken here. The rules are as follows:
1. Only 2 people on the raft at a time.
2. The Father cannot stay with any of the Daughters without their Mother's presence.
3. The Mother cannot stay with any of the Sons without their Father's presence.
4. The Criminal (Striped shirt) cannot stay with any family member if the Policeman is not there.
5. Only the Father, the Mother and the Policeman know how to operate the raft.

To move the people click on them, too move the raft click on the pole on the opposite side of the river. Finally to start the puzzle, click on the big blue circle on the right of the site. I did it in just under 10 minutes.

If that really floated your boat and you want some more, you can do a free online IQ test here. FWIW I've done two (real) IQ tests in my life and got 138 and 155, making me eligible to join Mensa. Let's see if alcohol has really killed off my brain cells in recent years, I post my online score soon... (BTW the title is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 in Japanese)

UPDATED: My online lunchtime IQ score is 127. Not great but it'll do. My end of test report gives us this piece of salesman psychology: "You've got a very experiential way of learning and a strong mathematical mind. You're able to whittle even the most complex situation down to comprehensible component parts. In short, you have mastered the art and science of precision. That's what makes you a Precision Processor." Who has the time to best my score?

20 November 2005

I Am Not A Number, I Am A Free Man!

Despite what my timesheet says (I'm number six), I am not a number, I am a free man. Last week I started re-watching the classic series, The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan. Today I learn that Sky and Granada are going to re-make it and bring us more episodes! In true Prisoner style I am sceptical to say the least. My first concern is that The Village will not be shot in Portmeirion, Wales. Next I hear that they will "take liberties with the original". This goes from bad to worse. At least a good production company is behind it, oh no, it's Sky, the people who brought us Mile High, Dream Team and countless documentaries too trashy even for (channel) five. With all this information, I think I can safely say I won't be seeing you.

18 November 2005

Official Stats - I Have Between One and Two Hundred Readers Every Week!

This is incredible, I've just looked at the stats for my site and I've noticed I have between one and two hundred readers every week! Take a look at these figures if you don't believe me. I'll post a better breakdown later today...
UPDATE: Wow! This is actually my 100th article! Anyway, I've done some analysis of the excellent data from StatCounter and over the last three months I've been averaging an incredible 58 unique weekly visitors! Not page loads but definite unique sessions. One week even hit 113! I must start writing some more interesting stuff!

It's Cold Outside, There's an N O2 Kind of Atmosphere

Yesterday morning I was walking into my office and I noticed there was a frost even on the discarded alcohol bottles on the grass near my office. The drunks clearly are of a better class here in Edinburgh as the discarded bottle in question was actually a decent red wine (somebody turned it over during the course of the day to see the label!). At 9pm I looked at my fancy wireless indoor-outdoor thermometer and noticed a strange symbol that looked like this - . It was -2°C outside at 9pm and it could only get colder. A few minutes ago (as I finally crawled out of my bed, I suffer from sticky mattress syndrome you see), it was an unbelievable -5°C outside. EXTRA: Despite excessive anti-freeze being used, as I drove to work the windscreen was refreezing as I was stuck in traffic. I could see impressive crystals reforming in front of my eyes, obscuring other vehicles from my vision.

15 November 2005

It's All About Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!

Andy posted a comment on my last post saying that I've probably set some new form of vanity with the excessive pictures of me on one page and that got me thinking. It shouldn't come as a shock to many people that I am quite egotistical. A recent Two and a Half Men had a line in it that captures this quite well:
Charlie: "Rose, do you think I'm a misogynist?"
Rose: "Oh Charlie yes! (Laughing) Why, did someone try to say you weren't?"
Anyway, back to me. I think it's very interesting that the English language regards it as polite if you try to put me (as in the person reading this) at the core of the sentence. If I am the subject of the verb (comes at the beginning of the sentence normally) then we use 'I', e.g. Dave and I are going out now. If I am the object of the verb we use 'me', e.g. Do you want to join me and Dave? Notice that the closest person each time to the verb (the doing word) is the first person, the speaker. I think that's interesting anyway... If you want a giggle at the rules of grammar, have a look at these rules of grammar.

13 November 2005

Police Ask "Has Anyone Seen This Man"?

There has been much debate on the subject of my banner that runs across the top of this page. Some people like my new one, others prefer my old one, despite the fact that my picture made me look like some form of sinister fortune teller. To rectify this I've made by banner dynamic! There are currently eight images that will appear randomly on the right hand side of the banner, just click refresh to see a new on. Alternatively you can see all ten of them here:

Random image 1 from main Phill G banner Random image 4 from main Phill G banner Random image 6 from main Phill G banner Random image 7 from main Phill G banner Random image 8 from main Phill G banner

Random image 0 from main Phill G banner Random image 2 from main Phill G banner Random image 3 from main Phill G banner Random image 5 from main Phill G banner Random image 9 from main Phill G banner

Let me know your thoughts on them, which ones scare you and which make you go weak at the knees!

Updated: The images have been re-order. The top five made it and will stay on the site, the bottom five are being consigned to the archives...

10 November 2005

Tony Blair Steps Down!

One day this title will be correct. So yesterday he suffered a humiliating defeat despite calling back Brown and Straw to get a few more votes. Couldn't be happier! I saw this coming for a while and the fact that they won a vote by one MP last week really tempted me to put money on how soon he'd be out of office (now the bookmakers have slashed the odds and I'm not a gambler anyway). It seems minutes after touching down in the Middle East Gordon Brown was whisked back to the UK and told to try to prevent people from rebelling. Tony has this morning called a Cabinet meeting to talk about the defeat - do you think Gordon will mind suffering all the hours in the plane as he can now sit in the meeting, beaming away knowing he'll be the boss in the next few months (maybe even weeks)? If Tony is a stupid as to try and push the educational reforms or privatising parts of the NHS he'll be out before 2006. Maybe now's the time for a stalking horse to challenge him and force Gordon to move...

9 November 2005

Night Watch - Cool as Hell Indeed!

Nochnoy Dozor is a huge Russian film that is the start of a trilogy, based of novels of the same name. A thousand years ago a war started raging between Light and Dark (Others). They were equally matched Gesser, (the/a god), called a halt to it and brought in a sort of police force. The Day Watch look after the Light, the Night Watch take care of the Dark. We follow the Night Watch as they try to stop a vampire initiating others, tempting a young Other to join the Dark (side) and preventing a cataclysmic event that brings back memories of Zuul/Gozer trying to end the earth (the Ghostbusters stopped them just in time!). It's not just vampires as there are also shape-shifters, witches and future-telling. There are bound to be dumb comparisons with The Matrix but this film is nothing like it. Despite the subtitles the story flowed very well and avoided selling itself out to the US and ruining the story (although the third film in 2007 will actually be in English, it'll be co-financed by Fox). The poster for this film leads with "Cool as Hell!" and I can't argue with that, a strong contender for the foreign language Oscar. The film oozes style and is definitely not "in-your-face" nor do you ever feel bits have been added it for the "wow" factor. There are many scenes which are highly imaginative, both from an ideas and visual perspective. Several slow motion scenes seamlessly integrated into the film (as in they don't stand out as if to say "this is a cool sfx"), as well images of blood, gloom and strength in the actual actors bodies. Some of the confrontations uses mirrors to try to see the vampires (in a opposite way to the usual story) and torches to kill them which impressed me from an ideas point of view. Worth watching and I can't wait for Day Watch: Night Watch 2 next year to continue the story. A very solid four torches out of five.

8 November 2005

Great Chef Launches New Blog

The title says it all really, check it out over at Neil McRobie .com. Hopefully he'll share some of his many culinary tips and skills!

Rugby League Fans Show Up Football Fans


--- Additional Post ---

Erm, okay, that must win the prize for shortest blog entry. On 29th October the first Tri-Nations Test involving Great Britain took place against New Zealand. Britain really needed to win otherwise they'd struggle to stay up with Australia and New Zealand. The game took place at QPR's Loftus Road at 6pm on a Saturday evening. Rugby League, aside from being the second best ball game (after football) and a million times better than the "aerial ping-pong" they call Rugby Union, is a real "working class man's" game. Starting a football game in the evening is not usually great as in big rivalries the police usually complain it allows the fans to sit in the pub all day and drink before they get to the ground. Early in the day I saw (on TV) a goalkeeper get struck by coins (or some small missile) being thrown from the crowd during some Premiership match. As far as I recall it wasn't a local derby or an intense rivalry (not that that would justify it), just a regular weekend match. Anyway the whole issue is very sad that they now need to try to get all possible objects, including coins, off fans to prevent serious injury.

Back to the Rugby League. New Zealand started with a flurry and got a couple of quick tries, they would have had another if the video referee (another thing Football should start using) correctly denied a try in the corner for knock on (even the commentators didn't notice the change in the ball's flight until half time). You would think the British fans would be really angry, especially as the crowd wasn't segregated like in the Premiership. No. Instead they just stood there, watching and cheering their team on, sipping lager from glass bottles! After the game, with Britain given quite a hiding, there wasn't a single arrest and the majority of bottles went in the bin.