AFP Imported From Epistula


AFP, 2002-03-15

The simple thing is that, light of my life, Marmite is ikky. Marmite is a blot on the spec of a culinary horizon of spreads that rises over the mountains of “It’s All Mine” Real Chocolate spread, though the wastelands of peanut butter, around the small puddles of sandwich spread[1] and flooding the valleys with a sheen of golden syrup glinting lightly in the sunset. Somewhere out in this metaphorical landscape is a pit of thick brown liquid that occasionally goes “gloop” horribly, it’s only claim to fame being a brief appearance in a movie staring David Bowie. Marmite is the anti-spread, a single gram of it dropped into half a kilo of butter will render the entire pat useless for consumption by all those with more than one single properly functioning taste bud. Marmite is the very definition of evil, it’s very colour a signal to nature to stay the hell away from it, nothing edible can be that colour. It’s smell can drive grown men out of a house, it’s taste causes ducks to swim *away* from bread. Even it’s makers admit that you can make circus-freaks of the people who eat the stuff. It is Wrong, purely and simply. And the fact that you, darling, eat the stuff just confirms how good your taste in things is.

Now, if you excuse me, I think I’d better start running.

Yours in total sincerity,


(Lonecat’s worst, or at least other, half)

[1] Sandwich spread was used in a great many TV dramas for when a character needed to throw something up. This is all you need to know about it.

AFP Imported From Epistula


A Chat Log. From #AFDA

(15th Dec 1999)
(about 10 to 9)
[Non-relivant bits cut)


Aquarion: Hello
ZZ9: what’s up, Aquarion
Aquarion: Sky, Clouds
Aquarion: Does it matter? And even if it matters, does it matter if it
Aquarion: Does Matter matter? And even if Matter matters, does it
matter if Matter matters, or if Matter matters not?
Bbz: It doesn’t. That’s the easiest way of thinking about it. Or
rather of not thinking about it.
Aquarion: Everything matters
Aquarion: to someone
Bbz: Nothing Else Matters.
Aquarion: Apart From What?
Noser: Matter or matter not, matter is no matter. A matter a matter
keeps the matter away.
Noser: A matter in the matter is worth matter in the matter.
* Bbz is baffled.
* Noser likes this game.
Aquarion: And even if Matter matters, Who does Matter matter to? are
do the increase from the point where there was one item that mattered,
to two too many mattering items of Matter?
Noser: My matter’s breath smells like cat food.
Aquarion: Does matter Matter to Matter itself? Is there some kind of
Meta-Matter that matters to Matter?
Noser: Meta-matter is like a box of matter.
Noser: Matter doesn’t actually matt, does it though.
Aquarion: Does Matter care? Does Matter feel pain? Does it matter if
Meta-Matter matters only to matt?
Aquarion: And is Matt Matter? Does it matter if Matt is Matter? Is
Matt Meta-Matter?
Noser: Who’s Matt? No matter, it doesn’t matter.
Noser: Take it away Bbz!
Bbz: Come on! You know I can’t be this silly.
Noser: What matter?
Aquarion: Is matt mad? and is Matt madder than meta-Matter. Does it
matter if Matt is madder than Matter? Is Meta-Matter madness?
Bbz: It doesn’t matter anyway, I’m not going to try. Not that it
matters anyways.
Aquarion: But does it matter?
Marvin: Even if it does matter, does it matter that it matters?
Aquarion: blast. I was going to say that. But does it matter who said
Bbz: What’s this Meta-Matter madness? Does it matter that it’s
madness? Or Meta-madness?
Noser: My aunt Matt collects anti-matter?
Aquarion: Is there a Meta-Madness that manafests itself in Matter?
Does it matter? Has Matt fallen prey to this Meta-Madness?
Bbz: But do you have an anti-aunt anti-Matt who collects matter?
Noser: No, she collects ants.
Aquarion: Or is it an Anti-aunt who collects Mad Meta-Matter?
Noser: It’s a matterhouse! A MATTERHOUSE!!!
Aquarion: But does it matter that this is a matterhouse?
Aquarion: and even if it matters, does it matter that it matters?
Bbz: Meta-aunt-Matt-Maddness-matter.
*** Joins: Rasher ( )
*** ChanServ sets mode: +o Rasher
Bbz: High!
Aquarion: Anti-aunt-Matt-Maddness-matter.
Noser: Hey Rasher, join in the matter-rich matter madness!
Rasher: Which is?
Noser: Doesn’t matter.

AFP Imported From Epistula

Delurk post

(I had a post which I tended to use to Delurk on big newsgroups. It gets noticed fairly quickly. This is the latest revision, done for RHOD, posted 2000/04/22)

The minds eye is an infinitely versatile object, capable of rendering objects that
the most dedicated artist would find impossible to make look real. In dreams we see
another reality, and it is in dreams where this post begins.

Imagine, if you will, the multiverse. A huge sphere of multicoloured points linked
in ways our minds, conceived in one of these points, cannot possibly see. And yet
there is something around it. A sprinkling of blue sparkles surrounds the entire
area, around every point they eddy and swirl, gradually focusing on one point,
pointing, leading, like iron fillings to a magnet, and onto one point they focus and
the mind shifts perspective.

We are inside one of the points of the multiverse, one of the nodes, one of the
universes. There are many more, governed by magic, words, or just the same
more-or-less logical rules that bind our own universe together, for that is where we
are. And the blue sparkles are here also, spinning and flowing towards another,
smaller point, a swirl in the galaxy, and we zoom in further.

And further, though the clouds of stars, focusing on a string that is orbiting the
galaxy in mindnumbing slowness, and yet travelling faster than many thought

Onto a single star, orbited by 9 rocks of varying size, and as we circle the sun –
as all the rocks do – we can see the sparkles head toward a single planet, a
blue-green planet.

We spin past the lands, though the daytime, the evening and into the night, and in
the darkness we focus on a small triangular country which for the sake of argument
we shall call “England” and from there into the south-eastern corner, midway between
the bright lights of the big city and the calmness of the sea to the south.

And closer do we zoom, to a single room, and a single computer, as the blue sparkles
collate and solidify into a young male, typing at his keyboard. The figure of
Aquarion, making his de-lurk post to RHOD.

Hi, I’m Aquarion, and I am to be your newest member for a while.

I love to say I have lurked lots, but in reality I followed people from AFDA a
couple of days ago.

Yours in total sincerity,

E-Mail: Aquarion-At-Aquarionics-Dot-Com
“Whenever Pavlov rang a bell, all the dogs attacked the nearest merangue”

Imported From Epistula Personal

Trace Mammoth

Yesterday I failed my driving test.

I’ve written an article about that, but it was deleted, so I’ll do so again and post it. Promise.

Today I did something useless.

na@sacrifice:~/tarball/mammothroute$ time sudo ./traceroute
traceroute is sending mammoths to (, 30 journies max, 40 page letters
Mammoth with 1 steps to live sent to pyratic ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 1.277 ms
Mammoth with 2 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 153.561 ms
Mammoth with 3 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 147.219 ms
Mammoth with 4 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 146.739 ms
Mammoth with 5 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 227.599 ms
Mammoth with 6 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 146.590 ms
Mammoth with 7 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 139.635 ms
Mammoth with 8 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 219.573 ms
Mammoth with 9 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 219.324 ms
Mammoth with 10 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 226.335 ms
Mammoth with 11 steps to live sent to *
Mammoth with 12 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 235.700 ms
Mammoth with 13 steps to live sent to *
Mammoth with 14 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 246.643 ms
Mammoth with 15 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 249.489 ms
Mammoth with 16 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 259.209 ms
Mammoth with 17 steps to live sent to ( It's died. Mammoth ran in 269.139 ms
All Mammoths Dead. Sorry :-(
real 0m15.727s
user 0m0.020s
sys 0m0.000s

See? Fun

[ Download the patch for traceroute.c (linux) ]
[ Download the original Traceroute source ]

Imported From Epistula Personal

Busy doing nothing…

So, what am I doing? Well, the writing something every day idea appears to be working (It’s not all going into Nodes, some of them are contiunous stories on newsgroups, others are reviews (which don’t appear in the “latest” bar), but most of my time is being spent either in Driving lessons (Parents have spent

Imported From Epistula Personal


The new Aquarionics Nodes System, Knave, is online. It currently has very little real content, and the design needs a little tweeking (Mainly to move it to stylesheets). It’s at

Imported From Epistula Personal


The Aquarion Tea Theory of Personal Organisation

The amount of tea I drink is enough to scare all right thinking people. Or left thinking people, come to that. My approach to life appears to be “Hmm. Problem. Hmm. Tea. Hmm. Solution” so I drink many cups of tea a day, mostly by the pint mug. But the amount of tea I drink is only rivaled by the amount of Tea I fail to drink. It sort of goes like this…

Think “Tea. Tea Good”.

Work on computer for a little while. Note lack of tea. Get up. Fill Kettle. Plug in Kettle. Turn on Kettle. Sit back down. Code.

Hear kettle click off. Continue coding.

Realise water is too cold for tea. rise. Turn on kettle. Return to desk. Code.

Get engrossed in making lose_html() be able to allow code that I want, safely. (The problem stems from Javascript, you see. Because allowing *any* HTML and it’s attributes would allow someone to put into a comment “<i onMouseOver="window.alert('Boo! Heh heh heh')">touch me, I dare you</i>” and get something like “touch me, I dare you“, or an OnLoad function that redirects you to the authors site, or The latest versions of PHP’s strip_tags function will strip some JS, but not enough for it to be safe and…

Get up and boil kettle again. Realise this is futile, and stand there watching Kettle boil. This seems to take ages, and on the way you realise that the way around this problem is to use UBB style codes. Kettle boils. Find mug, find tea-bag, put one in the other. Realise the mug looks silly inside the tea bag and reverse the positions. Boil kettle again, add water, leave to steep.

Write the regular expressions that will turn [url][/url] into, embed them into /home/na/cvs/klind/addcomment.php and Test. Correct the spelling mistake, and resubmit. Yay! a fully working system so people can link to you. Neat.

Remember tea

Bounce spoons off tea to prove theory, pour brown sludge onto sink and reboil kettle.

Add code to turn [em] into emphasis, [b] into bold and get up to reboil kettle.

Realise reason why kettle is now silent is not because it’s boiled, but because you didn’t plug it back in. Fill Kettle. Boil Kettle. Apply water to tea.

Fire up Visual Basic and create a version of kteatime for Windows to remind you of when your tea will be ready.

Release winTeaTime onto the information superhighway


Unplug kettle. Withdraw milk from fridge. Withdraw tea bags and sugar jars from counter. Take mug from sink. Transfer all of above to desk. Plug kettle in and switch on

Hope you remembered to save the document you were working on, and attempt to find a new fuse for quad-plug

Plug kettle back into kitchen, and turn on again. Wait for it to boil. Collect mug etc. from desk

While at desk, apologise to IRC channel for sudden disappearance, and promise to explain it in an article later.

Start writing article about the Tea Theory of Personal Organisation

Begin to boil kettle again. Remain beside kettle. Pour water onto tea bag. Wait one minute. Add milk and two sugars. stir.

Take tea to desk, and sip triumphantly as you write an article on the process of making tea.

Finish article.

Realise tea has gone cold.


Imported From Epistula love


Things Me And My Girlfriend Argue About



Text Editors

Oh, and tuna

With apologies to Mil Millington

Imported From Epistula love

Aquarion & Lonecat

How did it begin?

How does anything? We first met at the Clarecraft Discworld Event 2000, and I first saw Lonecat posing for a photo. I then spent the rest of the weekend calling her Rosemary.

Later that year Lonecat held a meet at Durham ([photo|report]) which I arrived – late – at (Friday was a UFie meet, Saturday the AFP one) so we actually met and spoke, At the New Years party we were both at we kissed at midnight, and I caught the cold she was having problems with…

And so 2001 began, and with it, really, our friendship. Through channel and query we got to know each other better, and soon became friends, discovering we are, in fact, the same person in disguise. And so when Neil Gaiman came to London on a signing tour, it was only natural that we would be there. And since the AFPMovie auditions were going to be the next day, it was logical for us both to crash with Chris overnight. And since Chris was going to a Karaoke bar on Monday night it was even sensible for us to remain in London so we could go too. And LoneCat found a very effective way of stopping me doing Karaoke. She kissed me. And so I kissed her back. And I started to entertain the possibility that this might be able to go slightly further than Good Friends. But it couldn’t, because she had a boyfriend.

We shared a tent at CCDE, and remained oblivious to the scores of people trying to match make us together. And we kissed again, and I stopped again, because she still had a boyfriend. But when Carl and Lonecat split up, we had a discussion. Then a week to think about it. And then, on the 26th August 2001, At Aquarion’s Own Kentmeet, Aquarion and Lonecat gave in to the AFP Dating agency.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Or at least, another article

So now Lonecat is my girlfriend, and I love her lots.


Updated 2005-Feb-27:
LoneCat is no longer my girlfriend. I still love her lots, but she doesn’t love me anymore.

Imported From Epistula Personal

Driving Insane

Today’s entry is split into two parts. The first is on homosexuality, the second on Driving tests.

Randomosity is go.

I have several friends who are gay, and some of the favourite tales they tell are of members of the opposite sex who are convinced that the only reason gay people exist is because they haven’t met the right [girl|man] yet. Normally the person who decides this sees themselves fulfilling this role. More amusing, however, is when it’s a friend, or relative, or parent. Because then they go into a microcarpentry frenzy of matchmaking. They appear to lose the idea that it’s like Marmite, or Tuna. I don’t *like* Marmite. I would still continue to dislike Marmite if you make it with carrots and call it Vegimite. I don’t like Marmite dressed in a golden lid, and I wouldn’t like it if it secondary sexual characteristics you could see from space. And, these friends of mine tell me, trying to get God’s Gifts to realise they (the friends) don’t find them (the Gifts) attractive is only slightly more difficult than, for example, hammering a marshmallow nail into a brick.

But this is not the problem. The problem is that there are those who see this from the opposite side. Those who are sure that anyone they want to be gay actually, secretly, in their fundamental being, is. These are people who really can’t see that this is just as bad, and that matchmaking friends to try and make them gay doesn’t actually work.

Apparently, however, trying to make people something they’re not only matters if the people being pressured are a minority.

Driving then.

I’ve just got back from a one point five hour driving lesson. I have a two hour driving lesson later this afternoon, another hour one tomorrow, another hour lesson on Saturday, a pre-test-lesson at 07:40 on Monday (yawn) followed by a full, no holds barred, eighty quid, one-black-mark-and-you’re-dead, proper driving test an hour later. I’ve passed my Theory, and the practical is on Monday.

I’ve resigned myself to failing it.

In other news, the replacement system for Klind is now both underway and almost completed, thanks to a couple of almost-all-day coding sessions. All previous content is now in, admin functions are in (I can add and edit everything), now I just have to write the viewing functions…