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Preposterous Tales Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "i_ludicrous" journal:

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January 19th, 2009
11:40 am

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MPs try to avoid publishing expenses
Dear Andrew Smith

I am writing to you today because of recent developments in the situation on expenses of MPs and members of the lords.

As you are undoubtedly aware, there has been a long battle to make sure that MPs' expenses are published, and on the 16th of May 2008 the High Court ruled that these expenses must be published under the Freedom of Information Act. About £1million has already been spent getting this information ready for publication.

While the news has been busy with the third runway at Heathrow, and the situation in Gaza, the government have sneaked out a parliamentary order which will reverse this decision. These changes will make MPs and peers the only paid public officials who will not have to disclose the full details of their expenses and allowances. MSPs, for example, already have to declare all of this information to the Scottish Parliament. This is a major step in the wrong direction on parliamentary transparency: people are going to wonder what it is that MPs and lords have to hide.

I see from TheyWorkForYou.com that you don't normally vote on issues concerning a transparent parliament, but please could you lobby against this change, and vote against it on thursday. TheyWorkForYou has said that it will be permanently and prominently noting those MPs who took the opportunity to fight against this regressive move.

Yours sincerely

Me

Current Music: Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy
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December 22nd, 2008
12:58 am

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Little Fish
I've just got back from seeing Little Fish at the Wheatsheaf for the first time for a couple of months. In fact, I still have a fish transfer on my forehead... This was brilliant as usual, except for one thing: Perfect Stranger.

When I first saw Little Fish, or in my case just Juju doing an acoustic set, Perfect Stranger was the point at which all the hairs on my back stood up and I knew I was going to be turning up to as many of their gigs as possible. Today it was faster, had a different title, and sounded just like everything else. If you see this guys, and you never can tell with the internet, please change it back!

Current Music: Little Fish - Perfect Stranger (in my head)

(8 comments)

November 7th, 2008
12:08 pm

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Herman
Herman the pyramid scheme cake had a narrow escape today. There was no granulated sugar in the cupboard, so I considered using icing sugar instead. Fortunately, I checked the ingredients, and he was spared a dose of anti-caking agent.

PS Does anyone want a herman of their own? He is ready to pass on tomorrow, and I have one spare.

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(2 comments)

September 4th, 2008
04:11 pm

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Google Mail
Anyone out there using Google for their email? Last week they added a new setting which lets you always use https. It is a really good idea to turn this on (it's at the bottom of the General tab in settings). We don't want anyone getting caught by this google account hacking tool, do we?

Current Music: Telling The Bees - Wood
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(4 comments)

September 2nd, 2008
02:41 pm

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Further Brompton Audaxing Lunacy
This is going to have to be a quick list rather than proper ride reports. The backlog has been causing me not to write them up. For anyone who doesn't know what this is about, audaxing involves going out on your bike and cycling a pre-decided route (usually a bit over a multiple of 100km long) at an average speed of over 15km/h and less than 30km/h. You have to prove that you were at various points around the ride at the right sort of time by doing things like getting a card stamped, or collecting a receipt with a date, time, and place on it.
Invicta 200k - 16/3/2008Collapse )
Castleton Classic 200k - 20/4/2008Collapse )
Dinton 100k 7/5/2008Collapse )
Hop Garden 200k 11/5/2008Collapse )
Wednesday Wander 200k 18/6/2008Collapse )
Midweek Tour of Cotswolds 100k 16/7/2008Collapse )
Poor Student 200k Perm 22/7/2008 and 24/7/2008Collapse )
The Dean 300k Perm 21/8/2008Collapse )
So in total I am now 7 rides into my RRTY - hurrah! I'll try to write them up one at a time in future... I really need a Brompton icon.

Current Music: The Epstein - Black Dog
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August 28th, 2008
06:27 pm

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Virgin - ur doin it wrong
Today was installation day for our Virgin Media broadband and phone. At about 10am, a couple of nice chaps came round and reconnected the broken cables outside, set up the modem, and then left, leaving me with a router and a CD.

I connected my laptop up to the modem directly with a network cable, and restarted my network. Excellent, thought I, as I saw the IP address get assigned. This is going to be easy.

But no - going to bbc.co.uk I'm rerouted to a virgin page to "help me get set up". This page then says that my computer is substandard, and offers me a pound a minute helpline where they will tell me how to get a more recent version of Windows.

I do not call this number, I instead call the standard virgin media number and enter the "I'm thinking of leaving" option: as usual, this gets me a human being. After 5 minutes of explanation that I don't want an email address, don't want any personal web space, but just want to be able to see the sodding internet without being redirected to Virgin, he gets on to the technical helpline who remove the offending route. I don't mind being offered an email address, etc, but I think it is pretty stupid to make it so you can't get to the internet without signing up for it.

Excellent, we're sorted, I thought. I plugged in the router, and had another go at getting to beeb. Instead, I get a configuration page on the router (this is claiming to be www.routerconfig.com, but pinging it reveals that it is in fact 192.168.1.1 - good). I am allowed to choose an SSID, and passphrase, for my wireless network, and can save it, since the admin password for the router has been filled in.

I can't, however, configure the router, since I don't actually know what the username and password are. Back on the helpline I go, and they tell me that they don't support linux. I don't want support, says I, I just want to know the default admin username and password for the router (since remote management, etc, is turned off by default, I think I can reasonable reveal that username=virgin password=password, in case anyone else finds themselves in the same situation).

Things are now sorted. Hurrah! It could have been worse, but it could also have been much easier if virgin had included a piece of paper with the settings on rather than (or as well as, I suppose) a CD with a windows exe file on it.

I miss Zen.

Current Music: The Candyskins - Car Crash

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

August 19th, 2008
05:49 pm

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The big list of food
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal (Why not? It would feel like I were ordering it to show off my chili tolerance... should have a go at some point anyway.)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel (This is seriously in danger - we shouldn't eat it)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (I'm guessing there is more to this than chips and cheese...)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (been intending to cook these for years)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (came very close a couple of years ago when the car in front of me hit a deer - sadly nothing to put it in to stop the boot getting filled with blood...)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

That looks like a score of 60. I'll have to work on eating more different things :-)

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June 4th, 2008
11:37 am

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Useful timewasting
I have found a new way to waste time on the web. TheyWorkForYou.com have lots of parliamentary videos, and a copy of Hansard, and they need to get timestamps for when each speaker starts on their rant. The way they do this is by encouraging random people to timestamp the videos for them. It's surprisingly addictive, there are even league tables for who has done the most today, in the last week, etc. Have a go here: parliamentary videos challenge.

Current Music: Gwyn Ashton - Fang it!

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May 3rd, 2008
04:10 pm

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I'm guessing some of you are about in Oxford this evening. Does anyone fancy meeting up for a drink?

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April 16th, 2008
10:41 am

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Cricket
Does anyone fancy joining me in the parks this afternoon to see Oxford getting thrashed by Glamorgan?

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