A personal first:

Paid overtime.

My calendar for the near future appears quite uncharacteristically empty anyway, but I suspect I’m not going to be free most evenings for the next month or so. Just on the offchance anyone was planning to invite me to things.

Just a gentle reminder:

There are quite a number of people who pledged cash in exchange for the shaving of my head. And while many of you have already stumped up, there’s a fair number that haven’t yet.

I’m sure there are plenty of you that are just waiting for payday, or things like that, but I just thought I’d remind you about it, in case it’s just slipped people’s minds.

Donate here: http://www.justgiving.com/get_a_haircut_hippy

(Those of you who might be waiting to give me the cash in person: please don’t. If you donate through that link, then the tax (assuming you’re not foreign( is automatically claimed back for the charity. If however, I get money from you, then donate for you and enter it as “cash recieved off-line” then for legal reasons, that site cannot claim the tax back for Cancer Reasearch. You have until June 3rd, at which point the donations page will shut down.)

Fisting Chickens in the House of the Lord.

Or, “they do things different in the country”. I would write my weekend up in depth, but feel that the preceeding two sentences sum it up quite well.

I am back from rural parts. It was ace. Thanks and etc. to all. Photos to come when I’m not mostly asleep, including documentary evidence of this post’s title.

Edit: Evidence.

If you’re ever in need of a weekend away, I can wholeheartedly recommend The Shaven Nun Badger Crown. Bloody good food, cracking beer, roaring fires, and lovely staff.

Life’s Little Joys

I think it’s very important to pay close attention to the things that make you smile, each and every day. The little things. You life will be infinitely better if you do.

For example: I no longer work in East Acton. This is one of those things that’s continually brought home to me, and always makes me smile. Today, it was brought home to me because I have just eaten a sausage roll for lunch.

Were I in East Acton, this would have been a Greggs special, made from lips and eyes and genital parts. Grey, and rubbery and flavourless, encased in pastry made from salt and lard.

But I am in Battersea and the local sandwich shop sells sausage rolls that are sourced from a particular farm, and made with real meat taken from lovely, lovely Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. I half-suspect that if I had pressed him, the owner might have been able to tell me the name of the specific pig whose fleshy parts I have just had for lunch. It was spicy and meaty, and the pastry was perfect. Hurrah.

So, now I have a new thing to be happy about.

What has life brought you today to make you smile?


I had a bloody marvellous weekend. You should all be very jealous. Friday night, I went to see the might Golgol Bordello, gypsy punks. (Side note: I am listening to more and more Eastern European/klezma tinged stuff in a variety of genres. I am not sure what this means, although More 4 was at pains last night to inform me that Russia is dying, which may be significant in some way.) The gig was ace, although I boggle that they were originally supposed to be in the Mean Fiddler. They got bumped up to the Astoria proper, and it was a full on sardine-tin job. Still, they had even more energy live that Flogging Molly, something I had not hitherto thought possible. Complete Eastern European mad bastardism. See ’em when they come round again.

Then there was a slight drinking accident with the rest of Friday night. ewa is home, and obviously it’s all her fault, because I would never do a thing like that on my own.

Still, the hangover was beaten back with the aid of a large fry-up, and then it was off to see the Yamato Drummers. I’ve seen a few different Taiko outfits now, and I think that these people are the best I’ve seen. Kodo have the more traditional show, and possibly even a more physically impressive one, and Yamato are all about laughter and marvellous energy. It was a matinee show, and there were a fair number of kids in the audience, loving it, something I have a hard time imagining them doing at a Kodo show. My only gripe is that I wasn’t allowed to take photos, and that only because some of it looked so good, I’ve have had to be asleep not to get decent shots out of it. They’re on for another week, and there may be a few tickets left. Go if you possibly can.

On, briefly to coffee, and thence to johnmazzeo‘s birthday drinks, to wish the aged one all the best, and say hi to a few people all-too-briefly, since I hadn’t seen half of them in months.

And then to sushidog‘s extremely civilised port and cheese evening. I am now officially a middle-class grown-up, but somehow it’s less ghastly than my sneering eighteen-year-old self thought it would be. Thanks to one and all for making the idea of being a respectable adult almost as palatable as the port.

Sunday was rather more relaxed, and certainly rather better rested, spent as usual in the delightful company of lovely people. And so back to werk.

Apropos of not very much: I have my new dead-air.org domain running (in a slightly-concealed manner, at least until I can get a few last details sorted out) but I need a) suggestions for new sources for mad science news, or just feeds full of unusual and horrible things to wire it into, and b) a WordPress template with an urban or radio-styled theme. Anyone able to help with either?

This week, I have:

Written a couple of bastard clever AJAX based tools. This is incomprehensible to most of you, I’m sure, but basically, they’re quite tricky, and prior to this week, I had done almost sod-all AJAX related stuff, so what it basically means is that I am a god-like genius, and you should all be Very Bastard Impressed, OK?

In my spare time, I have put together http://ala.sda.ir, which is basically a one-stop shop for all the various places I produce writing, photos, and general stuff. I’ve got a few bits and pieces left to do on it – I want to more clearly mark the origins of the different posts, and while it goes and fetches all the content itself, at the moment it only does so when I tell it to, rather than, say, automatically checking every few hours. I’ve got a couple of hoops to jump through to make it do that, but that’s fine.

I’ve also found time to finally sort myself out with some decent time planning stuff. If you should be moved by insatiable curiosity about what I’m doing on a given day, you can get out http://ala.sda.ir/cal which will list those of my movements as I’m willing to share with the world. (Before anyone asks: on those Wednesdays where they or I aren’t busy, I visit my folks.) If anyone knows of a PC app that will allow me to convert from iCal (which it uses) to vCal (which my PDA uses) format, then I will buy you a pint if I wind up using it. I also need to write a tool to pick up the week’s diary every Monday, and dump it out, probably both to LJ and to ala.sda.ir.

I’ve registered http://www.dead-air.org, which I intend to wire into half a dozen blogs and news sources, as a sort of personal info-feed.

I’ve also been to the gym once (would have been twice, but I had the plague), read three books, picked up two levels in World of Warcraft, and tonight, I’m off to see what promises to be a storming gig, followed by a packed weekend.

Can you tell that I’m feeling more like myself than I have in six months?

Opium Dreams

As anyone who’s been near me in the last few week or two can attest, I am currently suffering from a cough that would make the most consumptive poet give up and go home, clearly overmatched in the smashed lung stakes. This, honestly, doesn’t bother me. It has happened to me almost every time I have had a cold since I was small child. It sounds (and is) unpleasant, but it’s getting better. But for the last week or so, in order to make sure I get more than a few hours fractured sleep at night, I am taking a thing called Gee’s Linctus, who contains, among other things, a weak tincture of Opium. It’s pretty much guaranteed to knock me out in about ten minutes flat.

I will refrain from sharing the details with you, but let’s just say that I’ve been having some pretty fucked up dreams. I am almost at the point where I want the cough to fuck off less for it’s own symptoms, and more because I’d like some dreamless sleep some time soon.


It turns out that the answer to the question “What would my neighbours do if they had a hammer?” is exactly what you’d expect. It’s not even 9am on a Saturday morning, and my (slight) hangover and I are awake, thanks to the ceaseless heavy pounding.

Bastards. If this is repeated tomorrow, I shall have Words. The words will mostly be things like “Die, fuckpig!”.