Monday, October 06, 2003

A Bun In The Oven

I bought a crap lunch from "The Baker's Oven" and ate it on the noisy train back to sunny Norwich. It felt nice to be back in Norwich after the grimness of Birmingham. Norwich hadn't changed much during my two-day absence although it did seem to be slightly more expensive than it had been on Friday.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Lord Of The Blings

A relaxing day, spent watching The Lord of The Rings, both the crappy film and the not-so-crappy-but-still-crap 1970's Warner Brother's animation. As far as I know, there were never any other films of Lord of the Rings made. It's rather a shames that Jim Henson(the guy who did the Muppets) hasn't had a try because his film "The Dark Crystal" is exactly how Lord of The Rings should have been.

In the evening it was time to eat a Balti, Birmingham's only worthwhile contribution to humanity. I talked to a couple of friends about their research projects for their PhD's and thought about many wonderful things. Although I hadn't seen the friends for a year or two, I felt as if I hadn't been sepparated from them for more than a few days.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

I Like It, I Like It!

I awoke at am to take the 5:40 train to Birmingham New Street Station. 7 hours later I was in the Britannia Hotel, about to attend "BrumCon 2004, The Return of the Fed Guy". BrumCon is a conference organised by Brum2600, one of the UK's leading computer security groups. I enjoyed BrumCon a lot. All the talks were interesting with the one exception of Dr Kaos's speech on the nature of hacking, which was so crap that it defies comment. About 30 people attended, most of them being typical geek types, both in good ways and bad. I learnt a lot, but failed to do any networking, which is what conferences like these are said to be all about. I'll definitely attend many more next year such as DNS, HOPE(if it goes ahead), SDFCon and one or two of the ones in Europe.

For the first time in history, I watched "Monkey", a cult Japanese/Chinese TV series from the 1970's. I'm hooked. It tells the story of a monk and his three followers, Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy. They traveling to India in order to become Buddhists but each episode sees them coming into some kind of difficult that prevents them continuing their journey until they've had lots of big fights with people in dodgy looking wigs. Monkey is a god so he has magic and is able to fly on clouds. The prince never gets involved in fights but spends his time telling off the others. Pigsy and Sandy and very stupid and are usually the ones who cause trouble. Sandy is armed with a ornamental spear, Monkey has a staff and Pigsy has a rake...

Friday, October 03, 2003

Birthday Boy

I woke up, feeling 24. Birthdays are always a sad time for me. I'm forced to reflect on the darker aspects of the human condition, and every year I conclude the same thing: We're fucked and we all going to die, stupid and alone. I very much hope that this state of affairs will improve during my lifetime, but I doubt that it will. My birthday ended as it began, in silence.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Taking Five At Take Five

Ate lunch with a friend at "Take Five", a cafe run by Cinema City.(see 30/09/03) It's the kind of place that make me want to tear people's skin off. So pretentious with is organic sludge that passes for food. I had something that was described as "a freshly baked baguette with tuna-mayonnaise". It was like eating glue-covered sponge dusted with dishwasher salt. My friend had a jacket potato with blue cheese and mushroom topping that looked like it had been excavated from a site of national historic interest. It is trendy cafes such as "Take Five" that are destroying the few genuinely cool places that we have left.

I read "Private Eye" today for the first time in several years. It was really rather good. Not good enough for me to bother writing much about though.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Shock BrumCon Decision Reversal

In a exciting development, I decided to reverse yesterday's BrumCon decision, and go! This will involve taking a train at 5:40 am, a task which may be beyond me. If I come back on Saturday evening or Sunday, I'll have to change train 6 times and go via London which makes the ticket price higher. I will therefore stay with a friend until Monday, although this means I'll have to miss my martial arts lesson. The fact that I'll be spending my birthday(Friday, 3rd October) in a pub(I don't drink), with a bunch of technophiles, says a lot about my life. Please leave birthday messages in my guestbook if you have time.