Tuesday, November 30, 2004

New Video Game Recreates Kennedy Assassination
Katz's Delicatessen New York has the best Maztoh ball soup I've ever eaten. Dumplings the size of your fist. Mmm, brains. It's also the location of 'that scene' in When Harry Met Sally. And Carnegie Deli has the biggest sandwich I've ever eaten ' The Woody Allen', which is alternated pastrami and corn beef in a bowl shape, literally, genuinely, the size of your head. I managed about half of it before a semi-aneurysm, and suffered complete shame at having to throw so much food away. There's a photo of it here. (That plate is a dinner-plate.)
The Infinite Cat Project - Slide #1 - Frankie

My Cat Hates You

Monday, November 29, 2004

Back from New York, back into the loathsome slough of the office. My hotel proved to be as bad as it was painted. I walked into it from Times Square, and it was immediately obvious that it hadn't been decorated since the thirties. Peeling wallpaper, threadbare carpets scattered over the holes in the floor, and a lobby crowded with more scary, demented Falun Gong than China itself, all of them pinned with lacquer posters, or sat round a dilapidated table planning their leafletting like a mini-soviet. (FYI, if you don't know who the Falun Gong are, check this. The best explanation is that they're a bunch of idiots who managed to scare the Chinese government one morning, and have been persecuted for their efforts ever since.)
Half the Falun Dafa are shouting at the receptionists, so I grab my key and make for the elevators. Except they're also crammed with Falun, and there's more on the sofas, staring blankly at the ceiling. Reluctantly, I make for the stairs.
On the second flight, I pass the first (aged, bedraggled) prostitute. The third flight has what looks to my colour-blind eyes a puddle of either blood or diarrhea that's trickled down the steps and been half cleaned with scrunched-up newspaper. I'm half-expecting the doors to have "Sam Spade, Private Dick" scrawled on them in magic marker.
I make it to the room, check the bathroom (stinks, no hot water, bulb's blown), try the TV (no working channels) and look at the view (an intra-building channel, filled with take-out rubbish, piled up into nice burrows.) To be honest, so far this has exceeded my expectations from the reviews so I'm not unduly bothered at this point. I sit down heavily on the edge of the bed which collapses. Looking under it for the leg, I find crack pipes. $89 a night, ladies and gentleman. $89. I take them down to the sleek, silver-haired manager/owner, who quickly hides them, and then asks "any other problems", and faced with incredulity and a demand to move rooms , reveals he has no rooms left. I spend the night at a slope, and thankfully move to a much nicer room the following morning, after the morning's manager proves much more helpful. Max Payne, eat yer heart out.

Friday, November 19, 2004

New York City: Carter - Deals and Reviews - You will contract a parasite if you stay here: "I have stayed in some disgusting hotels, but they are usually tolerable if the staff is nice and friendly. When I said I had a reservation, the lady said, '$89 Now.' They have no manners and in fact barged in my room while I was sleeping to ask me when I was leaving. They lost my reservation and messed it up 2 times after that. The 'cable TV' they offer has one channel on it. The bathroom had about 2 plys of toilet paper in it when I checked in, and the worst part: The pillowcases read in bright red, 'Wanna ?'
You are better off renting a place by the hour."

I'm off to New York on sunday, but I think I booked the wrong hotel...

Friday, November 12, 2004

How to Buy Cheap Airline Tickets - eHow.com

For my own perusal, but very useful.
Barney Home Page

What President Bush has obviously been focussing on for the last five years; the war on terrier... (Seriously, the White House is wasting resources on this why?)
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Vanunu arrested by Israeli police

Arafat's dead - so this is a good day to bury bad news, in more ways than one.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Fun With Prime Numbers
Mmm, a contradiction in terms. Perhaps our resident oxymoron and mathematics maestro Mark will explain all?
I've been playing more computer games than god recently.
Though god tends to play games with people, not PCs.
He's traditional multiplayer like that, has Baal, Krishna guru Murphy and Dionysus round for gin-rummy regular-like (he didn't invite Dionysus, but he always turns up anyway - claims he's the spirit of every party.)
Which reminds me; YOU!
That's right, YOU!
The person with no shame!
Go and buy Munchkin now!
A quizzical self-referential game about roleplaying as someone playing a game.
Available nowhere, now!

Erm, where was I? Yes, games. Filled up my 160GB hard drive, lickety split. (Is that the phrase or is that something Paul used to say? In my senescence, I forget.) Doom3, Dawn of War, World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Battle for Middle Earth, Half Life 2, Freedom Force (I got bored of the other ones, okay?) Oddly because of this, I'm reading loads again as I have to sit here and wait for my computer to slowly burn through the piles of absurdity sloughing onto my hard drive. Excellent Catch-22 alike called The Choirboys I picked up for pulp entertainment. It's all short snippets of just how the police exploit their time and authority, but the characters it builds walk straight into your imagination without knocking. They're all stereotypes now, but the way they're written feels so fresh. Looking about it looks like a movie was made of it with Charles Durning from The Sting as lead. sounds bloody awful, but has a middling IMDB rating.

Oh, yeah, almost forget, I read Bukowski's Pulp last night - incandescent pulp parody, but with that loving edge that leans towards tribute. Nick Belane is an alcoholic first and a detective second and an alcoholic first. (hic!) The beginning of the book is perfect; it has the dame's entrance scene, the first stakeout, the counter-offer, the surly landlord, the dangerous driving, Celine. Well, perhaps Celine isn't a traditional character, more of a 19th century french writer, but nor is Lady Death or the space aliens or... yeah, it starts out as good parody anyway, but the middle bit where Belane just walks into bar after bar and argues with bar staff over and over and over, that, McGuffin, that could do with some work.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

ThinkGeek :: Plush Microbes

Aw, I want the Rhinovirus...
Straight male seeks Bush supporter for fair, physical fight - m4m

From Wonkette
BBC - Mark Steel Lectures

Having listened to these on the radio, and just watched the first two on TV I heartily recommend you all get yourself entertained and educated as soon as possible. And have a look at the whole Open University site while you're on there, there's plenty to do.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Check it out for larger versions of the pictures below (and for some absolutely excellent art in general.)

The top half of a middle-sized Dostoevsky painting I did - the canvas is too large to scan properly. Posted by Hello
Album: halloween2004

A recent painting I did - though quite low-res as I don't want to hog your bandwidth. This is a colour-blind person's attempt at Nietzsche. Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Amusing places close to you

Ah, beautiful smut. I live near Butt Hatch, Crab Hole, Bullyhole Bottom, Wet Pits and, of course, Sodom.
I dream of lying in long dry grass and looking at the clouds through the seedheads. I dream of walking off into a whiteout in a blizzard. I dream of being thigh-deep in peat on top of Kinder Scout struggling through wind and rain to get to the next tussock. I dream of being a monk going to sleep on a stone bed, with a single thin pillow in a cell where the moonlight falls across the cobbled floor, casting a small barred shadow. I dream of hot sunlight on my naked back as I trudge up the arid side of a mountain.

These are my favourite dreams.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

BBC NEWS | In Pictures | In pictures: Face of addiction

Feck, that's horrifying. Mind, the Oil of Ulay pictures were worse.
Urban Legends Reference Pages: Sports (Winning Tradition)

Since 1936, if the Redskins won their last home game prior to the election, the incumbent was re-elected. They just lost their last home game. Go Kerry!
Alton Towers

Photos from Hallowe'en and Alton Towers (Richard's Comments are well worth reading.) I'm the one in the pinstripes and skull mask.