Sunday, July 30, 2006

Post Wedding Update

I survived the first wedding I've been to, or the first one I remember going to as I don't know about when I was younger :-) Anthony and Sue-Ellen both looked very nice, and the ceremony, reception and all else was good. I didn't get drunk that night (last night), but that's probably a good thing as later on I was still able to hold a coherent (or as coherent as I get) conversation with one of my step-cousin-in-laws or whatever Sam was, my family tree is both huge and complicated beyond mortal understanding but that's what we came up with for how we're related. We got on quite well, which I'm quite glad of as she's the first person from that side of the family I've spoken to properly, so I know at least one of them now :-) From my experience the families on both sides are nice, and there's even some friends of them that somehow know me (or at least my name) so I pretty much always have someone I can talk to at such meetings, I even get on with the adults pretty well (which probably shows my age or something =P).

Anywho, that's all for now.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Off For The Weekend

I'm off to Anthony's (my step-brother's) wedding early tomorrow morning and I'll be staying in a hotel nearby that night, so there probably won't be any updates until late Sunday night at the earliest. Unless of course the hotel has a wireless access point and my PSP can handle the blogger website :-) Yes, I will be wearing a suit, and no, I will not be making pictures available to anyone =P

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Sarah's off to Malta tonight (technically tomorrow morning, but that's neither here nor there) so I popped over to say bye. We somehow got onto the topic of the possibilities contained within the name Dr Kemp (I can be optimistic if I want to be =P) and decided on several things:
  • I'd have to be an evil genius. Evil geniuses are always Dr, while ones on the side of good are always Professor.

  • My choice of companion animal needs more thought. I started with the traditional white cat, but that's a bit cliche, then we threw animals at each other (not literally) in this order: guinea pig, moose, german sheperd, antelope, llama, gazelle, herd of gazelle. Some are suitable, some not so...

  • Sarah would be in charge of assassinations due to there being no records of her and her thus being outside of the system, which is another story in itself. Being the only currently suitable person, she would thus be able to negotiate her fees quite well.

Other than that it's all open for now. I don't think I'll go for world domination at first, that's too much effort really. I mean, ruling over a whole planet... that'd be insane. Possibly have a region splinter off from English control and set myself up as ruler of said region, that could work and I'd get some experience with the whole ruling thing on a small scale.

On another note, you didn't read anything... There are no evil plans, nor does this blog even exist. It is merely an illusion created by light from Venus being reflected off a weather balloon and refracted by swamp gas. That is all, go about your business.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's A Trap!

That's no moon!

Anyway, randomness aside there's not much to talk about today. And of course exactly as I type that, Overlord links me here. To quote my response:

I'm an nVidia person, so this merger resulting in prioritising ATI support can only be bad for me :-(

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mail Problems

I haven't been able to access my yahoo mail account via either webmail or POP3 at all today, so I'm going to assume they're having serious issues. I have no idea if any mail being sent is being received by them, or bounced, or simply lost, but if you have a need to send me anything you should probably wait until it's back up. Especially if it's important.

My mail is definately back. No interesting emails are sitting in my inbox, so if you sent me any mail then I don't have it. No more outages like that plzkthx

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rain :-D

As the title... RAIN! At last we have rain! Weeks of boiling temperatures and finally some nice cool air to relax in. I would go out and stand in it if I hadn't just had a bath :-P Add that it's a real possibility that Gina may be visiting near the end of August, and all my troubles can go annoy someone else for a while. Kemp is quite happy :-D

PS: Rain!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Out Of The House :o

I actually did something today! *shock* Sarah (home Sarah, not uni Sarah) wanted me to get some stuff for her laptop as it isn't set up to access the net and they're large files (dunno what connection she has at home, but meh). Anywho, before getting them I popped over to check that everything would work ok. Long story short, it turns out the dvd drive on it is just old enough not to be able to read writable discs (I'd forgot drives like that existed, lol). So that's that plan out the window. We spent the remainder of the time watching the end of Shrek 2 (which happened to be on) and various extras on the Narnia dvd, along with discussing virtually every tv show we've ever watched (we have vaguely similar tastes in that department). I was also going to send off my passport application but I ended up remembering too late again, so tomorrow then.

It's currently about 6:55 and I am bored already :-S Might end up doing some coding or something, I haven't done any for a while as I don't usually feel like it when it's this hot (and it's only for me anyway).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Still at home

So I'm not going to be able to go see Gina for her birthday due "indirectly" to someone who shall remain nameless. On the bonus side it does mean I don't have to spend time around this person, though it does also mean I won't see Gina until we get back to Cov. And yes, person X, she's coming to Cov if she says she is, how about you suck on that for a while?

Onto something slightly less charged... I got my hair cut :-) I always like how it looks when it's shorter (and the fact I can actually do something with it), but I always let it grow too long, I should probably get it done more often or something. Cutting my entry short (hmm... pun not intended) as dinner and very cold drinks beckon. Ciao all.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Apparently Gina got my letter last tuesday and sent one back on wednesday, which I got today, that's almost a week Royal Mail. Grrr... Anywho, tis her birthday on the 21st and I said I'd go visit her for the weekend or whatever for her birthday, which may get a bit hard to arrange 2 days in advance. Various things combined before to nearly make it impossible and now it *might* be possible and I'm trying to get everything together. It turns out I'm £400 rather than £500 in debt so I do have some money (kinda), but I'd like to ask how the hell the train companies can charge £6 to London but £50 (£50!) for my journey which honestly isn't too much difference in distance. Shows how much damn profit they make out of us. So yeah, I'll have to see if I can scrape the money together before I promise anything. £50! Wtf? Assuming money is forthcoming I then need to actually get in contact with her to arrange it, which is a challenge in itself now that her mobile gave up the ghost and I have to rely on her being in the house (everyone appears to have vanished today). All other problems (which there are) aside, this should be possible. *glimmer of hope continues to shine*

Took my guitar apart today as well, reassembled it in one piece fine with no damage too :-) What can I say? I like to know what makes things tick :-P So I now have some scribbled schematics (it's quite simple really) and a place to start if anything happens to go wrong. Amp next? Something not quite as simple and with an actual chance of hurting me (mental note: unplug before operating).

It's too damn hot at the moment, and apparently is going to be even hotter tomorrow (today I guess now, it's 1:14am). It should cool down after that though with some luck, and there's even rain predicted for the weekend. Almost tempting to just go out and lay in it if there is, it's not like I haven't done it before :-)

It appears the letter was in fact sent Monday, sorry Royal Mail, looks like you got it here within a reasonable time after all =P

Monday, July 17, 2006

To Watch (Again)

For some reason today I was thinking about the various historical films I'd seen (historical in the sense they're set quite a while back, not that they're actually accurate) and I realised that while I don't see as many of these films as other types they are often the ones that I want to see again. So, here we have a list of Kemp's films to watch:

This is the standard "film you must see" in this category, so who am I to leave it out? A main character that is betrayed or beaten up at every turn, and proof that a film can be so very much better if they don't try to force a happy ending. This is definately one to keep.

"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

A war started over a beautiful women, isn't that always the way? This film had some lovely camera work and the view of the fleet sent to invade is awe-inspiring even with so many films using CG to make things bigger these days. I like the fact that Achilles' characterisation isn't betrayed when he spends time with the priestess, you don't expect him to get all lovey and emotional and he doesn't. One point for non-stereotypes. Rational people will tell you that a multitude of arrows to the chest would cause a terminal case of death, but of course we know the real reason =P

"Before my time is done I will look down on your corpse and smile."

Kingdom Of Heaven
Another one with Orlando Bloom in, I'm not picking them because of that =P To be honest I can't remember this film in a large amount of detail (another excuse to watch it again, it's long overdue). I do however remember that it was packed full of quotes that I liked, such as "God will understand, my lord. And if he doesn't, then he is not God and we need not worry", which is very much in line with my outlook on the issue. It's about the Knights Templar and the Saracens, which is another plus to me as well. Overall it's a nice story about doing what is right and was executed very well.

"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth, always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong. That is your oath."

King Arthur
Ah yes, this I really liked. A band of soldiers thrown together by circumstance each with their own personalities, skills and drives, but held together by their respect for Arthur who they would follow into the mouth of hell. After being promised freedom at the conclusion of their final mission they instead get given another task to do, which they are understandably upset at, but they do it. Not for the Empire, not because Arthur commands them to, but because he asks them to. I love the character of Guinevere as well, she's not the faint-at-the-sight-of-blood princess type at all :-)

"Oh, merciful God, I have such need of Your mercy now. Not for myself, but for my knights, for this is truly their hour of need. Deliver them from their trials ahead and I will pay You a thousandfold with any sacrifice You ask of me. And if in Your wisdom, You should determine that sacrifice must be my life for theirs, so that they can once again taste the freedom that has so long been denied to them, I will gladly make that covenant. My death will have a purpose. I ask no more than that."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The World Cup

I was pondering today why I no longer enjoy the World Cup like I did when I was younger. I came to the conclusion that it was because

  1. I now know how much the players earn (and how little they really do to earn it)

  2. It gets boring always being a team that could possibly win it but never does. There's no challenge for us qualifying nor getting past the first round, and then it's all about luck not skill because it stops being about the game and starts being about pushing the rules (see next point)

  3. There's so much in the way of taking dives, pushing and shoving, and general doing anything you can to trick your way into winning, that it becomes a chore having to watch it

  4. You get players like Rooney and Zidane. Nothing more I need to say there really

Basically, there's nothing for me to enjoy there anymore. Unless something drastic happens I have no doubt my interest will continue to sink every time until eventually I'm as sick of it as Claire is.


I mentioned to Iris last night that I was working on my writing and she pointed me here as a source of useful stuff to do or not do in a fantasy story. Those articles actually work for quite a lot of writing outside of fantasy as well and are very interesting either way, especially if you consider some of the more well-known novels in terms of what limyaael has to say. Anyway, I've spent quite a while reading the articles and I'm still going (there are rather a lot), but good reading overall. Approximately half of them apply to me as mine I guess is technically urban fantasy, though with a lot less emphasis on the fantasy part (no dragons, no elves, no knightly orders, no old guys in big pointy hats carrying scrolls and staffs around, etc etc).

Also linked from somewhere in there is this little gem. We don't appreciate plot holes thank you very much. No, not even from you JKR.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Writing and Black Holes

Last night, after reading more of the Illuminatus Trilogy (I really should start calling what I'm reading by the correct book name I guess) I got the inspiration to finally get back to my own writing and I actually managed to get some done on my main story. The prelude now flows reasonably well and should be relatively close to the final form, ignoring any structural changes which will inevitably occur at some point.

I've also been getting progressively more addicted to Supermassive Black Holes off the new Muse album. At first listening, the album was a bit disappointing as it didn't sound like the Muse that we all know and love, it strayed slightly too far into pop territory. The more I listen to it though, the more it's growing on me and the more it seems to fit their old style, though I doubt it'll ever quite sound completely right. It's a bit like Rammstein's Rosenrot album (and to a lesser extent Reise Reise). It's technically good music, but you can't help feeling they've moved a bit too far away from their old style for it to ever sound quite right for them. Anyway, I'll keep listening and keep liking it a bit more and eventually I may even grow to like the whole album.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In The News

A few items on the BBC News site caught my attention today. The first two relate to interfacing hardware to people (yes, we do that, cyborgs aren't pure sci-fi =P). The first up is the linking of a chip to the motor cortex of a paralysed person, allowing him to control a computer simply by thinking of moving. The second is mounting an imaging device like those in digital cameras onto someone's retina, allowing it to directly stimulate the nerves, meaning that people with sight problems could potentially regain it somewhat. They mention the possibility of chips with memory allowing for replay and slow motion capabilities.

Unrelated is the third item. Bigelow Aerospace launched an inflatable spaceship and successfully got it into orbit. The advantage with this is that it takes up much less space and weight on the launch craft and thus costs much less to put up there.

Well, that's about all for today.

Customer Care and Conspiracies

Not related to each other though (that I know of at least).

Ok, so customer care first. Yes, NTL, that's what you do between making immense amounts of profit off of essentially nothing. The remote control for our cable box broke recently (it thinks one of the buttons is permanently held down) so of course we ring NTL to arrange a replacement. They tell us that despite this being the only replacement part for anything that we have ever ordered (having been with them for a substantial number of years for tv, phone and net access) we need to pay £50 for a new control because it is considered an accessory and thus optional. This is despite the box itself only barely giving you enough buttons to be able to change channel by one at a time and pretty much nothing beyond that. Our friendly operator then goes on to add that if you order one off their site rather than via phone it'll only be £10. Going from £50 to £10 for (much like most other things they do) no apparent reason. Ok, so eventually we give in and order one and it arrives quite quickly, I can't fault them on their efficiency getting it here. When it arrives (complete with batteries) I go to put them in, leading to this conversation:

"These feel kinda slimy, like they've been dipped in vegetable oil or something."
*looks down*
"Or indeed like they've been leaking their internals all over my hands!"
*runs to sinks and starts washing*

Probably not their fault there, but very annoying anyway. So now we eventually once again have a working control and all is well :-) I hope...

On to the second part of the title of this post, conspiracies. I've started reading the Illuminatus Trilogy and it is possibly one of the most confusing books I've ever read (I have a single book containing the whole trilogy). Utterly confusing, skipping between points of view and different sub-plots in different periods of time without so much as a new paragraph, sometimes changing halfway through conversations or suchlike. Basically, I love it :-D It pretty much forces your mind to grasp the subtle interconnections between everything that's going on in all these different places and times, and I assume it'll eventually drive you insane, but that's an acceptable risk. I advise you to read it if you can borrow a copy off someone or your library and then buy it if you can follow it, it would be quite a risk to buy it straight off yourself as you might not get on with it at all. Personally, I'm very glad I made the gamble.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

First Post

Unoriginal title as ever, but it's a tradition I guess. I spent today trying to sort someone's computer out, and ended up spending most of the day on a problem that didn't exist to start with (or at least it was hanging together just enough to work as long as nothing was touched), see here for more information, and to lend help if you can think of anything.

On a random other note, Remember The Milk. I know Sarah has mentioned this before on her blog and has advised me to use it on at least one occasion, but I never actually got round to it. I finally tried it last week and I have to say that it rocks :-) If you want something to help you remember appointments, deadlines and that sort of thing then I definately recommend it. Thanks for the pointer Sarah.