April 1st 2006
Sorry about that. By not leaving my bedroom until after noon, I was safe from all the world had to throw at me.
Today I've updated the site to be StephHoyland.co.uk. You can still get here via StephHoyland.co.uk/diary.html... for the meantime you can get here via StephScully.co.uk/diary.html, but that won't last.
April 3rd 2006
I keep buying CDs, again, but now I feel I have a legitimate excuse: I can't get Capital Gold on the radio here. OK, fine, that excuse sucks like a straw-tester on overtime (it's not a pun, it's a simile) but it still annoys me slightly, as I think I've mentioned before. talkSPORT, my backup, is also not really accessible here, so I'm spending the morning listening to Virgin Radio, which has surprised me by playing some quality music rather than modern tripe... maybe I'll make it my Somerset thing. In other news, I'm very proud of myself at the moment, since I completed the Mephisto crossword in the Sunday Times for the first time ever - indeed, I've never got more than one or two answers. To give you an idea of just how difficult this crossword is, of the 32 words I didn't know half of them. A dictionary, therefore, was necessary... and not just any dictionary, since Mephisto requires Chambers. That's right, this thing has words that regular dictionaries don't have! Including, notably, 'ceroon', an American spelling of 'seroon'. No, I've never heard of it either (apologies to my knowledgable and widely-read readership, since I can think of three of 'em off the top of my head who probably know the word, and use it in everyday conversation). The thing about the Mephisto crossword is that (other than being super-tough) it has no black squares, only little dividers between squares, so you end up with a grid that has all the spaces filled... this makes it amazingly difficult to create the crossword, I should imagine, but means that after you've done a few, you get a large number of letters for other solutions: for example, something might become LOR_D_ED or something. Not sure if any words fit there. All in all, this is my proudest crossword achievement since the one time I finished the Listener crossword in the Saturday Times... and that wasn't really a crossword, since they decided to make all the answer numbers that week. While I've been writing this, Virgin Radio has gone down in my estimation, playing modern stuff... although yet again it was confirmed that the Kaiser Chiefs sound exactly like the Jam.
As you probably know, I've given up puns for Lent. I realised, however, that the day on which this finishes will afford me great pleasure, since I can substitute a P for an S in the name of that day. When I said this, Simon asked, puzzled, "Eapter Sunday?" Let's see if you can do better.
April 4th 2006
I was wasting some time on the interweb recently, and took an online quiz [the results were shown here, but I got rid of them because the format was messing with the page. Sorry] that told me my ideal major (equates to a degree course, just about) would be English, with Maths coming a close second. Is this the least accurate online quiz I've ever done? Probably not, since in the past I've discovered that, among other things, I ought to become a Scientologist, and I'm 83% likely to be a woman. The Interweb, eh?
April 6th 2006
Some of you out there will have heard of Robert Jordan, the American author behind the fantastic Wheel of Time series (currently 11 published... I believe there's only one to go. Maybe two). They rank alongside my favourite books, with characterisation stronger than pretty much anything else I've read. In short, I'd recommed them to anyone (and thanks to Charlotte, who first recommended them to me). I write because yesterday I discovered that Robert Jordan has been diagnosed with a rare blood disease called amyloidosis, a cure for which is yet to be found (apparently what works for one person has no effect for someone else). He has a median life expectancy of four years. In a message he wrote for his many fans (copied to wotmania.com), he attempted to reassure us that he plans to finish the Wheel of Time series - but, as the many comments to his message have said, that's not the point. Indeed, it has been touching to see the response, with many offering their thoughts and prayers for Robert and his family. He is a fantastic writer, and a great guy.
April 7th 2006
Simon is currently at Word Alive, and although I'm not altogether sure what it is, I do know that it's a Christian thing aimed at students, taking place in Skegness, and that several of my Warwick acquaintance are there with him. Of these, he's so far seen Adam and B/ground Andy, and talked to Steve (frequent fliers will remember that he tried and failed to get here back when it was a Scully-zone)... on being introduced, Simon said "Oh, Little Steve?" which is fair enough, since I tend to call him that to my family... but not to his face. Not because it's a particularly unpleasant thing to say, just because I don't, and Steve's a great guy who won't mind, but it could have been worse. What if he'd met Ugly Clive? Anyhow, I have many excellent reasons for referring to Steve as Little Steve: (i) he's littler than most people, and his name's Steve; (ii) I have a friend from Uni called Little Andy, and a friend from High School called Little Pete; (iii) the first time I heard him spoken of, it was as Little Steve. These things stick. Well, that's three reasons, and although I'm not sure of the veracity of the third, I think it's enough to be going on with. If Steve does ever make it to this site, I hope he doesn't see all this drivel I'm spouting about him... I'll pretend someone else wrote this bit. In literary news, I finished Sense & Sensibility a day or two ago (by Jane Austen, for the uninformed. And I mean seriously uninformed. Y'know those episode titles of Blackadder III, like 'Amy and Amiability' and 'Duel and Duality'? Jane spoofs, the lot of 'em). It's the second JA book I've read, and I enjoyed it a lot. It doesn't replace P&P as my favourite, but I thought it was very funny in places, and a good read. I'm very unconvinced by Marianne's marriage and her prospects of happiness... but never mind. No sooner had I finished the book, than I started watching the film, which stars Emma Thompson as Elinor, a young Kate Winslet as Marianne, Hugh Grant as Edward and Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. This was slightly confusing, since I'd spent much of the book thinking Elinor was played by Winslet, and picturing her in my mind - she'd have done a good job, although she'd have had to have been older than she was when the film was made. Emma Thompson was, I'm afraid, rather too old to play Elinor (although she clearly had her heart set on it, since she wrote the screenplay for the film), and although Hugh did a good job, they deviated rather from the character of Edward, to bulk him out a bit (metaphorically) and make him nicer. Rickman seemed always a little perplexed at playing a good guy - the lip was permanently on sneer standby - but there were good points. Kate wasn't a bad Marianne, although not quite how I'd pictured her; Mrs. Jennings was spot on, Hugh Laurie played Mr. Palmer well with what he had (although he was made into a sympathetic character rather more and earlier than JA wrote it), supporting characters such as Lucy Steele and Robert Ferrars were more or less as I imagined them, and I couldn't really argue with the omitted people (Nancy Steele and Mrs. Middleton). They were Kitty characters, as it were - this being code for people who serve no real purpose, and might as well not be there. If I had my cynic's hat on, I'd put the royal family and John Prescott into this category. Where was I? Yes... S&S is highly enjoyable. The language, and indeed manners, of the time are very charming; people knew how to talk back then: "You always say that!" was a phrase used in the film, and I couldn't help but feel JA might have put it "That is ever your belief!" or some such... much nicer. You must forgive me now, but it is past time I were gone.
April 8th 2006
And so for the last time until January, it's time for me to say happy birthday to one of my housemates. Happy Birthday Rich, have a good one! In less cheerful news, revision is starting to lag a little... I think I'll do okay, but motivation is getting tricker. This isn't the time to have an in-depth analysis into my whole revision situation, but I will say one or two things. I'm largely basing my work on last year's revision pattern, and that's good for me, because I think back to the times I believed I was going to fail in everything, and worried about scraping a pass, and that keeps my morale up when revision is a struggle, or time seems to be running out. However, I fear that it might be leading to a little complacency... I am putting the hours in, certainly - pretty much every waking hour until 9pm, although the fact that I don't rise particularly early means my waking hours are restricted - but I seem to have a subconcious confidence that I'll do well in the exams. In reality, I know that this is not guaranteed, but I keep thinking of last year's results, and they sway me. What I need to do is find the balance between over-complacency and fear of capitulation. Onto another topic, with the lightning quickness of an elderly gazelle: sexism. Now, I wouldn't tick the 'sexist' box on whatever form you give me, but men are different to women, obviously, and in many ways. I don't lay claim to understanding women, heaven knows... I'm reminded of a conversation a while back where a female friend of mine made some gibe about men thinking they knew women so well, then going on to make some comments about men that were pretty wide of the mark. She claimed that men show off to women all the time, and that it's really obvious: now, in the animal kingdom, women don't complain about this, they just say "Golly, what colourful feathers you have. Want to mate?" But that's not the point... I was accused of showing off when I offered to carry something passably heavy for a girl (indeed, one and the same girl), and this is a point I would contest. When a woman is carrying something heavy, a man should offer to carry it. But - and this is where a slight lack of logic comes in - the woman shouldn't expect the man to offer... also, men shouldn't really offer to carry anything that another man of their peer group is carrying (unless there are a number of things, obviously) since that's just offensive. I know Simon will disagree with me, but probably not as vehemently as when I maintain that men shouldn't carry umbrellas, unless they're holding them for their girlfriends. But I digress. On the whole showing-off thing, I guess men do show off strength or skill to women - I've even attempted it myself before now - but most of us aren't that shallow, most of the time. While I'm on the sexism topic, it's a known fact that women are allowed to have a bad taste in music and films. And, to a certain extent, literature. I mean, a lass who listens to Britney Spears, watches Ben Affleck films and reads Barbara Cartland will not be a figure of ridicule to anywhere near the extent that a man doing likewise would be. That's life. As an afterthought, I'd like to say again that my taste in films is not bad... I just have a loyalty to Matthew Perry and Michael J. Fox. Commendable, if you think about it.
April 10th 2006
I've had two complaints about something I wrote the other day, in which I complained that a radio station was playing 'modern tripe' - both parties seemed to be under the illusion that I'd claimed all modern music is tripe. I did not say that at all! I mean, yes, most modern music is rubbish, and the period between, say 1994-2004 was probably the worst ten years for music since the 1950s, when rock/pop really began in earnest. Fortunately we seem to be out of the Take That/Spice Girls inspired era of worthless pop, although we're now in a generation of over-adulation: suddenly Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand et al are the saviours of rock music. Well, hardly. Of course, another reason why I much prefer listening to Capital Gold ("Greatest hits of the sixties se-ven-ties and eighties; Capital Go-o-old!") is that they will play the songs from those periods that are established as being good: radio stations that play modern music will merely play what is in the charts, and a little more. It's simple maths: when one radio station has three decades to choose from, and another has a year or two, the average quality is going to be better in the former. Anyhow, to make the point that I'm not completely disparaging of modern music, here's a list of albums I own from the 21st Century (NB: this does not count albums released this century that contain music from last century, like Cream's greatest hits, for example):
Elephunk - The Black Eyed Peas (this one actually is rubbish. If anyone wants to buy it...)
American Idiot - Green Day
In Between Dreams - Jack Johnson
Hopes And Fears - Keane
Absolution - Muse
The Long Road - Nickelback
Heathen Chemistry - Oasis
Don't Believe The Truth - Oasis
By The Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers
O - Damien Rice
Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard - Paul McCartney
Choose Love - Ringo Starr
Love And Theft - Bob Dylan
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Soundtrack (I think this just scraped into the 21st Century)
As well as these, I think I have three albums that were released in the year 2000. I hope my point is made.
A revision update for you all. I'm not feeling too bad about it at the moment, having done a few past papers and been undistressed by the results - Combinatorics still needs a fair bit of practice, but nothing I haven't got time for. I'm also in a brighter mood because I've heard on the grapevine that the one and only Richard Baldwin has recently received Scrubs series 3. I don't think I'm being over-presumptuous in believing this will affect me in a good way.
April 12th 2006
Keep clicking. $71 and counting - but none of it gets to me if I don't break $100. I know some of my readers (Dad included) get here via the SCB homepage, rather than StephHoyland.co.uk/diary.html, which is normally not particularly beneficial, but today I'd like you to follow his example. This is one of those entries that will make no sense at all in the archive, but yesterday I changed the frontpage of SCB... much friendlier, I think. Struggled with the html for a bit of it for a long time - realising just how much html I don't know - but it works here. What I don't know is how silly it will get in another browser, or screen resolution, or something. Feed back. (I'm willing to wager now that no-one who doesn't live in this house will feed back, and probably none of them will either). If you want to get to the SCB homepage from here (i.e. from the latest entry page, rather than the archive), did you know you can just click on that icon saying 'Startlingly Carla Bonner' in the top left hand corner? Did you know that I had to pause and point before working out whether it was the top right or top left corner? There's something wrong with me... in other news, can any mathematicians out there prove that, if G is a finite simple group, and H is a proper subgroup, then the order of G divides [G:H]! (the factorial)?
April 13th 2006
If there's one thing this diary doesn't achieve much, it's the Booker prize. If there's another thing, it's that I don't tell you people a lot about what I do. You get my opinions on stuff, and the odd reference to my wellbeing, but there are millions of you out there asking who are pondering to yourselves; "what does he do?" Well, let me tell you. Of late, I've been drinking a lot of tea. Nothing new there; I've drunk tea for some time. But let us look deeper... for a while, I've been very particular about the kind of teaspoon I use: at Uni, the Ikea ones; at home, the smoothish ones (although even they are losing their shine recently). But more than this - in the last week or so, I've been increasingly impressed by the importance of the mug, much as Jay once proclaimed on his now-defunct blog (NB a blog still exists elsewhere... sorry, Jay). Obviously it's got to be a mug - cups and saucers really don't cut the mustard - but I never really cared what kind of mug (apart from stoneware/earthenware, which I simply can't drink out of) until I started consuming tea in such quantities that I am currently 83% of my recommended daily caffeine intake. You'll see below my new mug of choice, next to what used to pass for acceptable.
Another thing I've been doing a lot of recently, as I may have mentioned, is revising. So another picture (ain't you lucky?) shows you where the magic happens. Oh, by the way, I've changed the archive a lot, so it all looks like this now. Cool, huh?
April 15th 2006
A very Holy Saturday to you all. Anyone who thinks that today is Easter Saturday will be shot and/or laughed at. Now, only the other day I was in Crewkerne's biggest and best optometrist's, waiting in the waiting room (the title impressed it upon me, you see. That's why I sit in the sitting room, live in the living room and lounge in the lounge. Although I'm pretty certain those are all the same room... if we had a drawing room, I'm sure I'd withdraw to it on a regular basis). Whilst waiting, I perused the usual pile of rubbishy magazines that festoon these places, and after digging through seven or eight different gardening magazines, and the token What Car? (men like cars, you know) I discovered what I was looking for - indeed, what I think all of us are looking for, really. That's right; "Your Cat" - the essential magazine for cat owners. It was really a piece of luck, because I'm more or less a cat owner, and who knows how much longer I had to enjoy my feline time before I stumbled across this tome? I could have died at any point. And it wasn't just any old edition of Your Cat - it was the much coveted September 1999 installment, boasting an interview with Zoe Ball!! Yes, the 'popular radio DJ' was prepared to give up valuable time in her busy schedule to inform the world that she owns five cats, and also likes them. Apparently she was getting married to Fat Boy Slim later that month... I hope they'll be happy... to cut off, I was interrupted during writing this by two Jehovah's witnesses at the door. I made pleasantries with them for a bit, after informing them that I lived in a Rectory and was thus unlikely to be convinced... but apart from agreeing that ideally we'd have religious unity, that it wasn't currently happening, and that it could only be achieved through God's word, I didn't really discuss religious matters with them. Perhaps I should have done... an opportunity wasted. Sorry guys. While I'm on the religious theme, yesterday (being Good Friday) the local churches had a service on a (very low) hill top, in which three crosses were erected (actually two were already there, one was erected), the cross in the centre representing Jesus' cross, those either side representing those of the two robbers crucified with him. Apparently this practice is alien to many churches, but my Worcestershire readership may well be familiar with it happening on Bredon Hill. Anyhow, in line with the recent spate of pictures on this site, I've put a picture of Chissy with one of the crosses in the foreground. The church is on the far right of the picture, and I've thoughtfully put an arrow towards my house.
On a completely non-religious theme, I discovered this blonde joke on the interweb a couple of days ago. Y'know, you could pay for this kind of stuff...
April 18th 2006
I'm back in Earlsdon, and exams begin tomorrow. You may or may not remember Colin's Online Diary from this period last year - expect the second installment to start after my first exam, which commences at 9.30am and lasts for two hours. I'll save exam-based entries until then... it's currently half-time (or thereabouts) in the AC Milan vs Barcelona match that I'm watching, and it's been something of an anticlimax thus far... the commentators are expecting Ronaldinho to produce magic every time he touches the ball, and have been disappointed that he hasn't. I think I'll make a half-hearted rant about ASBOs to pass the time - well, genuinely, I think they're terrible. Surely we shouldn't be living in a nation that imposes sanctions on people (undoubtedly, although I apologise for the hackneyed phrase, infringing their human rights) without any evidence of any misdemeanour whatsoever. In the worst cases, a blanket curfew or similar has been given against all people of a certain age, not only punishing people who are suspected of crime (again, with a total absence of evidence) but anyone who is of a similar age. Caught red-handed, apprehended in the act of being 17 (it was the balloons that tipped us off, officer... that and the birthday cake). Of course, there are a lot of teenagers who commit crimes, and the loosely-defined antisocial behaviour: but the justice system in this nation should not have plummeted to the depths of punishment without evidence. In many ways it is comparable to the horrendous and shameful activities at Guantanemo Bay... but, of course, because it is teenage males who are under the cosh, noone cares. It's unjust and cannot be allowed to continue. In other news, meet my new friend Blogger... in fact, don't just meet him, play with him. Use your imagination (and the cursor).
April 19th 2006
As promised, my Exam Diary is begun. It may or may not mention that I'm having some trouble focusing of late... only slightly, really, but it gives me the opportunity to write "I've got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane," a typically brilliant line from Bob Dylan's 'Maggie's Farm'. And the reason? Well, what is it ever?
April 21st 2006
God Save the Queen. We mean it, man. In other news, I recently bought an album from an amazon marketplace seller (I may have mentioned this), which claimed to have 3 CDs but in fact only had 2. I emailed the seller twice, and he ignored me, so I left negative feedback. He then, of course, left me retaliatory negative feedback... but, scarily, it transpired that I had deleted my feedback for him. I'm sure that I didn't delete this feedback, so I don't know what's gone on... I think I will pursue the matter. For now, let me warn you not to deal with bl100135.
April 24th 2006
AA Gill is a man whose televisual opinions I used to read quite keenly, in the Sunday Times, but for a long time now I've skimmed past them with barely a glance. In fact, the vast majority of the Sunday Times is read not at all between being bought and being recycled. Anyhow, today I read through what made Mr. Gill the household name he is today; a food review. After Michael Winner, and food review is palatable - fear not, this isn't going to be a contrived pseudo-culinary parody. That would be a corny pastiche, as Mr. Spooner might say - but I was deeply distressed by the sentence beginning, "Imaginative and provocative use of aubergines". I mean, good grief! What were you thinking, AA? In other news, I'm currently putting togethe Sagg6, mostly the scraps left over from Sagg5, and I am debating which Bob Dylan tracks to put in... I probably want two from I Want You, Ring Them Bells, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again and Changing Of The Guard. I'm also considering dropping the 'no-solo-Beatles' rule by putting in a John Lennon track, or maybe something cooked up by George Harrison. We'll see. All in all, I feel that a lot of the tracks have suffered from over-familiarity, so I may struggle to match the high quality of previous compilations. I won't be hurrying into it. Anyhow, there are more important things going on - I have a very busy week coming up. Later today (ie after I've slept) I'm meeting up with Ned (whom everyone else calls Ian now, what with it being his name and all), on Tuesday I've got a one-off lecture, might be meeting up with Phil, and am entering a quiz with Ricky and the Red Stripes. Wednesday morning, I'm down at QRBC cleaning windows, then working on Number Theory with Rob, then going to the first SLOBS of the year, then CU. Thursday sees me at a social with my new 10.25 group, before heading on to music practice at church. And on Friday I have a multiple choice test on all the Number Theory I'll have learnt on Wednesday. Something's probably also happening on Saturday... I need to plan the first 10.25 meeting with Jenna at some point. I also need to revise pretty much as long and hard as I did during the holidays, when I had barely any distractions or other commitments... don't ask me where I'm gonna fit it all in. Although, most of the things this week are one-offs. How's your week?
April 25th 2006
I am currently endeavouring to get down to revision (Wector Analysis at the moment) with mixed success... my lower back still hurts, but on the bright side I've been having headaches, which means I could buy just one bunch of tablets that claim to cater for both problems, as well as several others, thus slightly wounding two birds with one stone.
April 28th 2006
First thing is, as ever, first. How glad am I that Ramsay Street's golden couple have kissed and made up? It's better than life. Speaking of life, this busy week is winding down now, after a hectic day, the highlight of which was probably the 10.25 social. It was rather a shame that so few people could make it, so in the end it was only myself, Jenna, Jackie and Mark. But it was good to meet Mark, anyhow. The film we went to see was She's The Man, which I'll admit I was dubious about, since it was marketing itself rather to the teen girl market. The initial scenes did nothing for more confidence, since they were of lots of bikini-clad girls playing beach football (please... substance, kids) and celebrating. I could see the strings. The film itself was based on Twelfth Night (by Shakespeare, to the illiterate among you) and not as loosely as I'd thought it would be... I knew the lead character was called Viola, and pretended to be her own twin brother Sebastian, but I thought that would be about it... instead, we had Duke Orsino, Olivia, Toby Blech, Andrew (didn't see if his surname was indeed Aguecheek), and a bloke called Malcolm who had a pet spider called Malvolio. Not quite sure why they decided to do that last one... other than the multiple love triangles, the storyline wasn't that similar, in honesty, but it was good fun to spot who was what and so forth, with reference to the play. The fact that it was all based around football also made for extreme deviations... more on that later. I'm going to bury this somewhere in the middle, because it's somewhat embarrassing, but I've come round to the belief that Shakespeare was pretty amazing... I still hold he shouldn't be forced on kids, and not idolised to the extent he is - the quantity of his sonnets rather outweighs their quality - and, let's be honest, the guy couldn't crack a joke to save his life. Well, not one that Sid James couldn't crack with an equal lack of wit. Due to this, She's The Man was a fair bit funnier than Twelfth Night - not a yellow sock in sight. Indeed, "Malvolio"'s desire for Olivia was only hinted at, and barely that. Not only funnier, but the love was rather more convincing... is it just me, or did Shakespeare somewhat shoe-horn the love in Twelfth Night in a rather lacklustre and half-hearted manner? "And... yes, Olivia is all right... because of Sebastian. Because he's male and looks like Viola. Match made in heaven. Open the curtain!" OK, I'm a stickler for love, and it was hardly the greatest screen romance I'll ever see, but it was believable. And what of Viola? She never looked remotely like a bloke, in honesty, but appearing so for most of the film also went some way to making her unrealistic as a woman when in that garb, confusing me entirely. Film stars are getting younger nowadays... and so to the football. Or, should I say, 'soccer'. No, of course, I should not. Vinnie Jones, whose acting career never quite took off, was playing the football coach for Illyria (note the theme), and it was surely supposed to be ironic when he told both teams to play football 'the way it should be played' - but there's no way the Americans will get the joke. In truth, the film took almost as many liberties with the beautiful game as it did with the bard - a time-out was called (although it wasn't called a time-out), the game ended with the final goal instead of the final whistle, the winning goal was actually a penalty that was saved, then headed by Orsino and volleyed by Viola, who must have been a mile offside, and at one point it certainly appeared that Sebastian was substituted off and back on again! This ain't hockey. Although, in fairness, he got subbed off when he actually was Sebastian, and subbed back on when he was Viola in disguise. But however improbable the film, it can point to a more improbably text as inspiration, and it mattered as little here. A film that I will certainly watch when it shows on TV, which is more than can be said of any other adaptation of Twelfth Night.
One thing I forgot to mention about the film is the usage of the infamous line "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them." In the play it is used to appeal to Malvolio's arrogance, inflated self-worth and deep-rooted inferiority complex. It is aimed at his pomposity, not intended as words of wisdom - in the film, the words are apparently brilliant (and preceded by 'as coach says before every game') as spoken by Orsino to Viola. In the words of that Scrubs bloke; "Mis-TAKE!"
April 29th 2006
Yesterday began somewhat excitingly, as Rob phoned me around 10.45am to ask me where I was, since we had a test (NB: not a proper exam, just a test that went towards the whole) at 11 o'clock. When he rang, I was asleep, so I'm much indebted to him - almost as much as I'm indebted to Tom, whom I nominate for 'Greatest person of Friday morning' for driving me into campus at a moment's notice. In the end, of course, the lecturer didn't turn up until quarter past, but that's not important. The test itself was pretty easy, and I'm expecting (along with, I feel, the majority of students) full marks or thereabouts. In other news, I'm very proud of my mother today, since I received an email from her in which she'd used the CC line - I didn't know she could do that. Congrats! In further news, I looked up on the interweb what could be causing my back pain, and it turns out that unless I have arthiritis or am pregnant, it's likely I twisted the muscle, and heat seems to be doing the trick (Mr. Happy hot water bottle to the rescue). Today, I feel, I'm going to try some AlgII, unless I chicken out and do some more Wector Analysis.