December 1st 2004
Had a Stats test today... went pretty well. Also, today is the first day of advent - do I hear a cheer at the back there somewhere? Hmm... is there anyone who reads this site who actually likes me? Because if so, they are heavily outweighed by those who just come here to make derogatory comments. Except you, Simon. You are a king among men.
December 6th 2004
I'm in Leicester at the moment, on Bradley's computer, and am going to Exeter today, which is why I haven't updated much recently, and won't much this week. However, this is just to let you know that, because the 1st anniversary of my online diary is this Friday, there will be... two polls this week! Yeah, baby. Have fun.
December 10th 2004
So here it is, the 1st birthday of this diary, and the 51st birthday of Peter Thomas, my Dad. A lot has happened in that year... both on this page and in the real world. When I made that first entry, I was the only reader. Today, this is the 3rd most visited page on the Internet. In other news, I'm in Exeter, visiting Powly, and will be returning home later today... and soon it's Christmas!! Sweet.
December 13th 2004
On the last day of term at Warwick, Little Andy made a list of seventy memorable moments from the first ten weeks at Uni, and I thought it was a very good idea, so I'm going to copy him, but with less clarity, content and chronology. I've tried to go for ones he didn't mention, which explains some obvious omissions.
2. The brave and noble game of Glassball
3. Captain Subtle
4. Oh, Zatoichi
5. What are birds? We just don't know.
6. Kirsten, Kirsten, what hast thou Dunst?
7. Hey! That's a Beatles song!
8. Richard's improv x2
9. Free hot chocolate, standing over there...
10. ...it's all free, it's all hot, it's all chocolate!
11. Probably the best University in the world.
12. REM! Won't it ever stop?
13. Killer bunnies?
14. Shaun of the Dead
15. Christine's baptism
16. Go get 'em, tiger
17. I've always been standing in your doorway
18. Furry slippers
19. Gaining a triplet.
20. Magical Trevor
22. Hoch Voltspannung
23. Tesco at 2am
24. Tesco at 2.30am
25. Tesco at 3am
26. Tesco at 3.40am
27. Tesco at 4.30am
28. 8p noodles
29. "If" table-tennis
30. Are they beautiful? Do they fight crime?
31. Something mathematical, perhaps...
32. Left arm of steel
33. The serious and beautiful game of Imaginary Football
Well, I think that will do… if there’s anyone out there who understands everything on the list, I’ll be very surprised. In fact, unless you are from my corridor at Uni, you’ll probably understand nothing there. Live with it.
December 15th 2004
What is it with society today? There appears to be a widespread belief that breaking the law doesn't matter, at least in some areas. We live in a nation where people are made more angry by a speed camera than by a speeding motorist (simple solution to avoid getting caught by a speed camera: travel within the speed limit. At all times. Not just when there's a camera nearby). The (other) main area where lawlessness is deemed acceptable is online music and film. I myself will not copy DVDs or CDs, or download music or films. Because it is theft, and even if it wasn't against the law, I follow the commandment that says 'You will not steal.' That is why I am surprised that many of my friends, whom I love, like and respect, do not see it as wrong to download pirated films - keeping the law of Britain comes second to keeping God's Law, but it still ranks pretty highly in the priority list. Of course, being law-abiding does cost me a fair bit of money: if I want an album, I buy it, rather than copy it or download it, and I end up spending far more than others. Also, when it comes to films, I have to wait a lot longer, since I will not download them - I either wait for them to be on TV (three or four years, perhaps, after they were in the cinema) or I buy them when they come out on video/DVD (well, I usually wait till I can buy them cheap second-hand). Which reminds me... of the pathetic arguments I hear in favour of piracy/downloading/etc, the one I hear the most is the old 'taping things off TV is illegal' line. I have come to the conclusion that this is an urban legend made up to support the piracy argument (like the shooting Welshman on a hill, it is incredibly unlikely to actually be law, but has been said so many times that it is accepted as fact by people who have no proof other than hearsay). Nobody reading this is likely to stop downloading music, or what have you, but perhaps the next time you do it (if and when), you won't try and kid yourself that it's acceptable, a victimless crime. The only thing that makes it different to stealing from a shop is that you're much less likely to be caught. And if that can salve your conscience, anything can. In other news, I went to see Enduring Love today, because Simon made me. His taste in films is not as bad as his taste in music, but is still pretty shocking, so I wasn't expecting much... okay, in the end it was better than I thought it would be, but still I would rather not have seen it. I won't bother saying anything about it, actually, except that it's not worth downloading. One film that I did enjoy recently was The Incredibles, which I saw with Bradders and James - we went to the cinema to see The Manchurian Candidate, but when we got there we realised that none of us actually wanted to see it, so we saw what else was on, and it was The Incredibles that we chose. It's not my favourite film of the year - it's not even my favourite superhero film of the year - but it was much better than I thought it would be. I dream of Elasti-girl... (I don't, just to clarify).
December 20th 2004
I haven't been updating that much of late, and I'm not sure why. It's not that I've been too busy - I haven't - and I don't think it has much to do with the fact that Internet connection now requires a laptop movement, rather than the click of a button that it was at Uni. Maybe I just haven't had much to say... so this is a bit of a forced update, more because it's been a while than because I've got any point to make. Hmm... I watched Spider-man 2 again last night, this time with Simon (I forced him to wach it in payment for me going to see Enduring Love with him the other day), and he said that it was better than he expected - he even went so far as to say that he'd go and see the sequel, Spider-man 3. Perhaps. In other news, revision is, as ever, going pretty badly - I really suck at revision, and I always have done, which is why I've preferred logical (mathematical, if you will) subjects, which test intelligence more than knowledge. For example, biology (which I hated) is more or less just learning lots of facts, and if you don't know them, you lose. Maths, on the other hand, tends to be more logical: you do need knowledge, but it's more important how you apply that knowledge, for the most part. English, which I would have enjoyed a lot more under different conditions, requires little or no knowledge, and relies almost entirely on application (ie essay-writing), which is why I tended to find it quite easy, and didn't need to revise for it. The exams I have this January (first day back) unfortunately do require quite a lot of knowledge - the application of it is, at this early stage in the course, quite minimal, if past papers are anything to go by. I have two exams, Foundations and Analysis, and I've done no revision at all for the latter, and harder, of the two. Early days yet. But enough of this talk of revision... those of you who daily sample the delights of Neighbours will be distraught to learn that, as happens every year around this time, it's not being shown for the next few weeks. It'll be January before I get to see Steph, evil Izzy, Supermax, Dr. Karl, Pregsalot, etc. etc. again... how will I cope? This at the end of a completely Stephless week. Speaking of beautiful actresses, I have been presented with something of a pickle. Metaphorically. It is perfectly acceptable for me to fancy Kirsten Dunst now, and I do. However, it is completely unacceptable for me to fancy Kirsten Dunst in Jumanji, and I don't. For the uninformed, KD (Spider-man, Bring It On, Wimbledon etc.) played a young girl in Jumanji, helped by the fact that she was a young girl when filming commenced, and didn't age greatly during the shoot. I have made an effort to watch all the KD films I can (her best performance comes in Crazy/Beautiful, in case you were wondering), but seeing her as a little girl will mess with my head. If anyone else has had this problem - fans of ET and Drew Barrymore, perhaps - let me know. We can seek counselling together. Anyways, the cartoon series of Jumanji was vastly superior to the film. In musical news, I bought The Best of U2 1990-2000 the other day, which makes them only the third band/artist I have more than one album by (the others being The Beatles and Oasis. Jeff Beck, Paul McCartney and Coldplay did fall into this category, but I now only own one album by each, having sold the others). At first hearing, it's nowhere near as good as 1980-1990, but I'll persevere... it also has B-sides, of which the Beatles cover 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' is absolutely nothing like the weird, but good, original. In case you were wondering. Well, I think that's all for now...
...except to say that I've started a retro season of polls, featuring the best polls from the history of Crazy Diary Poll Man. I'll start with the poll where multi-voting first became the fashion (and gross miscarriage of justice made its first appearance). It's Steph vs Izzy, round two. Only this time you don't get pictures.
December 22nd 2004
Many of you out there may be labouring under a misapprehension, and I feel that it is my duty to disabuse you. You may believe that Little Britain is funny. I am here to tell you that it is not. It is based upon a belief that men dressing up as women is funny, men speaking in funny voices is funny, and... well, actually, that appears to be the entire basis. Actually, there is the belief that repeating the same line over and over again is funny - don't get me wrong, catchphrases can work (witness the excellent Dad's Army) but when the entire dialogue comprises of catchphrases, it does not work. Some (most) people I know will laugh themselves silly because a bald fat man dressed in leather says, in a bad Welsh accent, 'I am the only gay in the village'. Where is the sophistication there? Compare it to Only Fools and Horses, Porridge, Friends, The Simpsons, Blackadder... when your children ask you about British comedy, Little Britain cannot be spoken of in the same breath as Morecambe and Wise. Hell, it can't be spoken of in the same breath as Joey. Of course, we have the Office (which, to be honest, I've never liked that much - I've never watched a great deal of it, but people are all too quick to laud it to the skies because they're told they ought, and I just haven't). By now you might be wondering what, other than Friends, I do like. Well, naturally you're wondering no such thing. You don't give a damn. And I congratulate you. But you'll never find out, now. Moving on... in more Spider-man news, I discovered that the woman who plays Aunt May (Rosemary Harris... I think) is Jennifer Ehle's mother - she of Lizzy from Pride & Prejudice fame, she of the most beautiful eyes in the world. Even more beautiful than Kirsten Dunst.
December 23rd 2004
This week we appear to be hitting an all-time low for poll votes. There are several possible reasons for this, and I've no real way of knowing what the actual reason is. So... it could be that people don't fancy voting on a poll they've already voted on before. It could be that people can't be bothered to vote if they can't leave comments. It could be that people can't be bothered to read this page at all. Or it could be that the voting thing simply isn't working... if it's that last one, try refreshing the page, since that almost always works first time. If not, well, Merry Christmas. On similar lines (and it's self-analysis time again), I realise that this page hasn't been very good for a while recently... it was initially devised as a place for me to write humorously, but it soon became more than that, and recently there's hardly been anything at all funny. This is partially because nothing funny has really happened to me of late, and partially because I haven't been bothered to make the effort. Well, watcha gonna do?
December 27th 2004
Yesterday was, for those of you without calendars, Boxing Day. So Ian and myself decided to go and watch Worcester City, since it was the only day I'd be able to go before returning to sunny Warwick. The expedition began well, as we managed to get a superb parking space - probably the best parking space in all our WCFC visits - but soon deteriorated when it turned out that, due to a frozen pitch, the Worcester match wasn't happening. Not to be defeated by such a small setback, we decided to go into town so I could a TV. You see, I have an extensive collection of videos (even if you don't count the Friend ones) but not very many DVDs, and no way of watching the videos at Uni - the DVDs I can play on my laptop. So I went to buy myself a combined TV-VCR. I wandered into a shop... and I forget if it was Dixons or Currys... and soon found what I was looking for - the cheapest in the place. Having found it, I wasn't really sure how to go about buying it, so looked about for an assistant. Unfortunately, they were all being spoken to, and each had a queue of sixteen or so lining up with questions and/or iPods. So as I moved aimlessly about, I discovered the same TV I'd just been looking at, but in a box with a price tag that was £10 cheaper, and with a sticker saying 'please take this to a pay desk.' So I did. Getting to the desk, the nice lady asked me if I wanted a warrantee. I said no, but not very forcefully, so she proceeded to tell me exactly what the warrantee was, what it did, and how fantastic it was... and that it cost £25. I said no. She said - and I can't quite believe this - that, because I'd said no, she could offer it to me for £12.50. I'm not sure whether this was a way to punish the over-anxious, or to reward the fickle, but nevertheless I still said no (and advise you to do likewise - it means you get money off). She then told me the TV cost £79.99, so I pointed out that it cost £69.99, which she reluctantly agreed with after checking. As I was on my way through the door, the alarm went off, and for a moment I must have looked like the world's worst shoplifter, simply carrying a large box with a TV in it through the doorway. Surreptitious it wasn't. Luckily the woman at the checkout had a memory that lasted longer than she tried to persuade me my TV would, and waved me through, despite the incredulous looks of everyone that passed. So now I'm the proud owner of a TV/video. Merry Christmas, everybody.