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On Saturday, ChrisC scooted down to Ealing Shopmobility for me and collected a manual wheelchair. They offered me a self-propelled one, which I initially tried to decline as I assumed that meant powered. However, self-propelled just means "big wheels", of the sort you can use to propel yourself around when you're sitting in it. The clue's kind of in the name, I guess.

It seemed a little peverse to be borrowing a wheelchair just as I was feeling like I was starting to make progress in the walking department. However, I remember an important lesson learned from a friend at WGW some years ago: a wheelchair is just a tool, if it makes something easier, use it. I still recall her rolling cheerfully across the floor, declaring "I feel way less disabled in this chair than I usually do trying to stand up".

So I borrowed a wheelchair because on Sunday afternoon we had an important dancing mission.

All around the world, around the world )
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Once, long ago, I used to dye my hair regularly. My hair's long, so I only ever go for semi-permanent dye so I don't have to wait for it to grow out. I think I stopped having silly-coloured hair when I started going to business meetings as my CEO's technical advisor and wanted to do an impression of a grown-up professional.


But that job is long gone... )

Anyway. My hair is now, um, black cherry apparently. As hair colours go it's not that silly - my hair's not very dark, but it's dark enough that semi-permanent dye is never going to have a huge impact. In a slightly dark pub last night, no one noticed my hair had changed colour (or at least, no one commented). I shall have to stand under lights if I want people to notice :-)
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When I lived in Oxford, and got real milk delivered by a real milkman, it was inevitable that I sometimes had to leave notes saying "no milk today". At which point I was left singing No Milk Today for the forseeable.

When I used to help out at the beer festival in Darlington, one of the staple ales severed was the (now, I think sadly defunct) Butterknowle Brewery's Old Ebeneezer. In between pulling pints, I invariably sang bits of the sea shanty about "the good ship, Ebeneezer". This was particularly annoying, because I only know about a line and a half of it. Why a shanty I barely know instead of the perfectly excellent Ebeneezer Goode? I don't know. I don't do it on purpose.

Sometimes, I don't even need a phrase to be actually mentioned in a song. On the mercifully rare occasions I have to mess with my Windows desktop settings, I invariably end up warbling faintly to myself The shareef don't liiiike it... lock the taskbar, lock the taskbar! Once heard, it cannot be unheard.

Today, I walked through Reading's centre and observed that the Early Learning Centre had shut. Which means as soon as I've managed to forget it was there, I won't start nearly so many of my working days singing Magic Streets - We went to the Early Learning Centre, with the money that I'd lent yer....

There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of things which make me burst into song (usually, for the sake of everyone around, quietly). Does anyone else have similar problems? What sends you off into a song?
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This has apparently been doing the rounds of soshul meeja, so you may already have seen it. Having been driven to despair by comments on various news stories today, I am delighted to note that the comments on this BBC Recipe are well worth reading.
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From the really-very-easily-amused department:

Door, Reading Station )
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Well, aren't you all lovely? Yesterday, I asked anyone who had the time, ability and inclination to measure their toilet seat for me. And although I was reasonably certain some of you would have the time and ability, I didn't really expect anyone to have the inclination. But several of you did.

Which means I now know an approximate average width for the hole in a toilet seat.

In centimetres, the width of reported toilet seats is:
21, 21.3, 21.5 22, 22, 22.5, 23, 23.2.
Plus [livejournal.com profile] ewx's confusingly chamfered[*] toilet seat which varies been 24cm and 22cm depending on where you measure it.

Which confirms my theory! )

[*] I have no memory of having read or written the word "chamfered" before. I had to look up how to spell it. I expected more in the ph department, to be honest.
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Oh, go on, we haven't had a sheep on here for ages. And this one doesn't even require any effort from me!

In 2012, venta resolves to...
Stop cooking with hendybear.
Buy new bendy swords.
Keep my goth clean.
Take evening classes in sedition.
Ask my boss for a winter.
Drink four glasses of northeast every day.






Get your own New Year's Resolutions:


(Sheep from [livejournal.com profile] cleanskies, via [livejournal.com profile] a_llusive.)

Are they good resolutions? )
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In respect of yesterday's poll: hurrah, you are all sensible people. And you have confirmed my belief that one of my colleagues, who unexpectedly proclaimed "what's the difference between a chicken?" (and then insisted that "duck" was insanity), is Just Wrong.
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From the spurious enquiries department:

[Poll #1795486]
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I just tried to sign into twitter. I got the following error message:

403 Forbidden: The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it.

Now, that's an HTTP status code I've seen plenty of times before. I don't think, though, I've ever seen an error that made the server seem quite so petulant.

Coming up soon:

404 Not Found: If you don't know where you put it, the server doesn't see why it should have to tell you.
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Every year I have grand intentions of blogging about Whitby Folk Week, and every year I fail because while I'm there I'm too busy running about and dancing and drinking.

I usually then also fail to write it up proper after the fact, because it's usually a bizarre mixture of the surreal and the exactly-like-the-previous-34-festivals and I'm not sure where to start. So I don't.

Instead, this year, I think I'll attempt to write about some isolated incidents (where "some" may end up being "one"). So...

God speed the plough! )
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Today's question: if you wore a breathable waterproof jacket inside out, would it let the rain in?

No reason, I'm just curious. And I've never really understood how these superfunky hi-tech fabrics work.

Or do not work, in the case of my cheapo shell waterproof, which lets the rain in anyway. It's surprisingly hard to tell, but I'm moderately confident I'm wearing it right way out.

Otherly, this morning I misheard one of my colleagues talking about going diving in a twinset. Except it turns out I didn't mishear, he just meant something different by the term.

I'm sticking with my mental image. Though surely the obligatory string of sensible pearls would get in the way of the regulator?
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My digital camera is currently knackered, so I took my dad's old camera away with me at the weekend. I hadn't realised quite how cheap and nasty his old camera was (his new camera's lovely, mind), or that it wouldn't be able to take photos of moving things without blur.

So, no photos of people dancing. Instead, a snap of something stationary which amused me quite disproportionately on Saturday morning:

...down a side-alley near Byker Bridge Road... )
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From the BBC website:

Nick Leeson on City morality

Coming soon...

Pol Pot on humanitarian issues.
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So what do you do when a friend tells you that they've got a surplus of windfall apples and a cider press ?

You offer to help out, of course )
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Reasons why you should not teach children science, part I.

Overheard at the weekend:

[Small child wishes to leave current location, which is outdoors.]

"Can we go now ? Please can we go ?"

[Parents do not respond.]
[Small child looks meaningfully at bright sun.]

"Do you want me to get cancer ?"
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Yesterday I popped round to visit [livejournal.com profile] ebee and met a new friend. The friend was called Putney and, when I left Ebee's, he decided to accompany me on my journey up to Finsbury Park to join ChrisC at the Rise free festival.

Here's a picture of Putney and I at the festival )
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Following on from recent stupid error messages, the following was caught in the wild on an estate agents' webpage at the weekend...

Feel the stupidity! )
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Another one for the Daily WTF...

Software futility )
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I wasn't feeling at my best yesterday. I was easily outwitted by inanimate objects and prone to confusion.

Of late, I have found myself doing some work for which MSDN (Microsoft's technical support site) is the primary reference. MSDN and I are not friends. I object to its slow loading, its lack of coherent organisation policy and unhelpful content. It retaliates by hiding my cursor at every opportunity and showing me random pages I didn't request.

Yesterday, it took advantage of my feeble-minded state and tried to mess with my mind )

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