2008 Imported From Epistula

It all began with a god named Thor

there were vikings and boats and some plans for a furniture store.

I went to Ikea with a List. I have to go to Ikea with a List, otherwise I end up with a trolley full of crap that is astoundingly useful but is not what I went in for. I went to:

Bounce on some sofas a bit.
Buy some instances of Billy the Bookcase
…and another bookcase.
…some more bookcases.
And a wardrobe, and a chest of drawers.
And kitchen equipment.

Then, because I know me well, I added “and stuff” on the end of the list, so that even when I bought some random crap I’d still be On List.

…Eight hundred pounds later…

…to be fair, bookcases aren’t cheap, and sofas aren’t either (I ended up upgrading my planned sofa after my first choice wasn’t bouncy enough). The Wardrobe was pretty cheap, but pots and pans and rugs and vases and plates and jam and little rocks and candles and spoons and hooks and glasses and jam and ooh, look! A thing for thinging things! I must have a… SHINY! THIS WILL BE MINE! AND THAT! AND THIS! AND…

…in hindsight, getting a trolley was my first mistake. But I asked! I said unto the Information Desk “will the home delivery service take that trolley full of stuff?” and they said “Of course, just take it over there when you’ve paid”.

And I did. And the incredibly cute girl on the desk explained to me that no, they didn’t, because it went in a lorry and stuff would break. So I did the bumbling englishman bit, I explained I had been told that I could do this, and was now a bit stuck, and I peered from under my fringe and turned up whatever charm I could.

To my eternal suprise, it worked.I took all the breakable bits home by taxi, and tomorrow will consist of a great deal of flatpackness.

2008 Imported From Epistula

One score and a baker's half dozen

Today, I:

  1. Made vegatable soup. It was nice.
  2. Played Meteroid Prime. It was nice.
  3. Looked at sofas. They were nice.
  4. Drank a lot of tea. It was nice.
  5. Became 27. It’s indifferent.
  6. Told various banks and organisations of my new address. It was complicated.
  7. It was complicated because one of the standard security questions is “How old will you be on your next birthday” and the answer is, today, inconsistant between systems.
  8. Watched episodes of CSI:NY.
  1. Played more computer games. They were also nice.
2002 2004 2006 2008 Imported From Epistula Personal

A decade of geek codes

Traditions are fun. Every two years for the past ten I’ve run though Robert Hayden’s Geek Code test (which hasn’t changed in that time). The rules are simple: I run it without looking at previous years tests. That’s it. I haven’t put it in this entry, because it’s slightly clearer as a text file

See my brief flirtation with Babylon 5 and X files! Watch as my dream of owning a mac comes true! Watch the ebb and flow of my housing situation! it’s like ten years of history in condensed form.

It’s a little scary.

2008 Imported From Epistula

New flat is new

  • I have new flat.
  • I am the king of boxes, all boxes flock to my presence.
  • Somehow, in moving from one small room in E17 to two medium/large rooms in E10, I have manged to cover the entire floorspace in the latter with the contents of the former.
  • By which I mean, I have a lot of boxes.
  • Some of which haven’t been opened since the last time I moved.
  • Sleeping on a proper bed for the first time in a while is comfortable.
  • Carefully made lists of vital things I do not currently own.
  • Including “a knife”
  • Left list at home.
  • Avoided eating scrambled eggs out of a shoe with a comb.
  • Had cornflakes instead.
  • New house has hot and cold running water
  • But neither hot nor cold running tinternets.
  • But does have ladybirds.
2008 Imported From Epistula

Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away home

So, I have a new flat in Leyton. It’s physically further from the station, but with a bus it’s quicker than walking from my old place, though I intend to put my bike back together and cycle.

Some more ladybirds by Aquarion, on Flickr Things that will get progressively less cute about my new flat: The windows appear to have nests of ladybirds in them over wintering, which is fun to take photos of but I suspect might get irritating.

Now to box up all my stuff to move it across tomorrow…

Then, because I have packing to do, I got the rotating banners and taglines working in the new design. Enjoy this nice picture of a ladybird.

2008 Imported From Epistula Personal


From complications arising from complications arising from things that could have, should have… whatever. Jasper the dog died this morning, of old age in dog years. This was a dog who was once scared of a toy sheep that was walking towards him, who learnt that lakes weren’t as solid as they looked by attempting to go look at a duck, who repeatedly forgot that it is difficult to see sudden hills when running too fast, who fell into the swimming pool an hour before we picked him up as a puppy, who…

A shaggy dog story:

About five years ago, maybe six, I was living at home with my parents. It would have been between Uni and moving to Cambridge. It was summer, the time of the Annual Fictional Town Of Paddock Wood Carnival, which traditionally is held every year and involves scouts on lorries dressed as cavemen. Or the french. Or other such things. Anyway, the carnival lead up to the field on the road where we lived, where there was a traditional travelling fair, with big wheels and ghost trains and throwing darts to win diseased goldfish and constant rumours that the travellers running the fair were going to kill us in our sleep. One particularly pernicious rumour was of “Big Carl” who was arrested five years ago for slitting the throat of a local, but had gotten out of jail and was back for his revenge. I heard this rumour every year from ages eight through to eighteen, “Big Carl”’s name changing every time.

On the Sunday of the carnival, as the fair were packing up to go home, I was asked to walk the dog, which I did. Because it was a weekend, and I couldn’t walk him around the local field because of the fair, I decided to take him on a long walk. Across the local field, over the main road, around the footpaths around the corn fields, and so I put him on his lead and we wander around for a bit. Like this:

View Larger Map

(Yay technology)

Note, for reference, that Church Road on that map is fairly busy, and the bit of it near us tend towards blind corners.

Also notice how the line ends and doesn’t return. Along that hedge I let Jasper off his lead to run around a bit, which he proceeded to do. When we got to that point of the line, however, another dog came out with its owner, it wasn’t on a lead either.

It was a greyhound.

Jasper and the Greyhound had a staring contest for a bit, but the greyhound gave in first, and bolted for the hedge, so, of course, Jasper followed, chasing after the greyhound like a militarised bunny-rabbit.

At this point the world was awfully quiet. Birds twittered quietly in the trees, until they ran out of batteries in their mobiles. All was calm. All was piece. A beautiful day in the Garden of England.

The owner of the greyhound, at this point, got as far as me.

“What has your fucking mutt done with my Greyhound?” it asked. The greyhound was sleek, tall, slim, apparently intelligent and could run a long way. Also, it was proof positive that dogs do not take after their owners. The owner – whose name I never caught, it may have been buried in the stream of invective poured at me over the next ten minutes – demonstrated his annoyance that my “fucking mutt” had kidnapped his pure-bred greyhound, and demanded to know where it (the mutt) had taken it (the greyhound).

I stood around and shouted Jasper’s name for a while, ignored the owner (Who ensured me he would sue for damages. He hadn’t asked for my name, or the dogs, or any identifying information) and worried about the – to me – more pressing issue of (a) Where my pet mobile mop had run off too and (b) Exactly how was I going to explain this to my parents? Eventually the owner stalked off in the direction the dogs had gone, and I made the decision that I was going to have to face the music.

On the way back I considered the benefits of running away myself, what we could possibly do next (Zoom out on that map above, they could run though fields for hours and we’d never find them) and wishing we’d got some kind of homing pigeon instead. I crossed the (now fairly busy) main road, and went home. By this time the fair had packed up and left, and I went diagonally across the local field.

In the middle of the field, standing by my oldest little brother, looking for all the world like he’d wondered exactly where I’d gone for the past hour… was, obviously the dog. Who had finished chasing the greyhound, crossed the main road and gone back home.

Jasper. b 1995 – d 2008. Just.

2008 aqcom Imported From Epistula

Happy New Year

May the next twelve months be better than the preceding twelve months, and may that always be true.