Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Coming In From The Cold

Got in to work at 8:30 am to set up the exam computers for tomorrow.

Had a peace meeting in a pub garden. Very cold. The meeting was going well until a disruptive mad person turned up. The mad person disrupted things for a while, and then left.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Day Today

A very busy day at work. I'm trying to get my boss to run a Cisco CCNA training bootcamp in August. I'm not sure if it will take place but it would be great for me if it did.

Found a secret bit at the end of The Day Today video. There are a couple of hidden comedy sketches right at the end of the tape, about 15 minutes after the programmes have finished.

Lovely update on Angie's blog about some teambuilding exercises she did with the kids she works with:

Monday, May 29, 2006

Skank Holiday Monday

Failed to get much done, as is often the case with Bank Holidays.

Bought some new trousers for work. Quite exciting really. The horror.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Dem Israelites

I've just read that Desmond Dekker has died suddenly, aged 64. It's a great shame as he was an exceptionally talented guy. His most famous song "Israelites" is one of my all-time favourites. Dekker was the first person to bring raggae music to people outside of Jamaica and was a huge influence on groups like The Clash. He will be sadly missed by many. Read more on Wikipedia:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Old Computer

My friend Suzi gave me an old computer that she had stopped using. It's a Pentium II with 64MB of ram. I'll upgrade it a bit and install Knoppix linux on it. You can never have enough computers. Ever.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Spent much of the day sitting behind a table in a public place. My boss and I were outside the library, trying to persuade people passing by that they should coem to us for computer training. It was very boring. I don't like people much.

There was an open wireless network in the area so at least I was able to get Internet access. I watched the Multi-Ttouch demo several times. Multi-Touch is a new touch screen technology which should completely change the way we use computers. Watch the video and be amazed: Multi-Touch

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Yet Another Blog...

My friend Suzi has set up a blog for The Great Commotion, a free news sheet based in Norwich. I've written some stuff for the Great Commotion, and have also helped edit it so I've been invited to join the blog. It will bring the total number of blogs I'm involved in up to five. Click my profile for links to all the blogs I write.

Monday, May 22, 2006


So... There's this thing called "The Internet", a global network of computers and a bunch of services which run on them(email, the Web, AIM etc.) The Internet is generally fun, but silly. Very occasionally, however, the Internet works. I recently made a friend in Taiwan called Angie. I've never met her, I just happened to start chatting to her online because her email address was included in an email I received. Somehow, from chatting to me, Angie has been inspired to learn more about England and also to start a blog in English. For me, this really is the Internet at its best, helping people around the world to make connections and friendships. I hope all my readers will try to make a new friend online in the near future.

You can visit Angie's blog here:

The Norwich Stop The War group organised a film showing at the university. We showed two 30-minute documentaries about Fallujah, an Iraqi city which was decimated during the invasion of Iraq. About 50 people attended, most of whom were students. I had been asked to give a short introduction to the second documentary which gave me a good opportunity to practice my public speaking. I shall endeavor to get some proper training in the near future, probably in London or Cambridge.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Under The Weather

Feeling very ill. I should be going to a demonstration this morning against the expansion of Norwich airport but I'm feeling too week. I should also be giving out leaflets about the imminent invasion of Iran this afternoon.

Studied hard in the morning, made some good progress.

Chatted to my friend Angie in Taiwan using YIM.

Chatted to my friend Yumiko in Japan using Skype.

Wondered if I should spend more time chatting to myself, and much less time chatting to other people.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Websites That Matter

Free Speech Radio News

Democracy Now!

2600 Magazine

Some films that everyone should watch:
The Falcon And The Snowman
The Straight Story
The Day The Earth Stood Still

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Busy Day, Making Hay

Up at 11 am this morning. Feeling tired, but not as tired as I expected I would feel.

Got some study done. Did lots of general admin stuff. Do certain people need offices?
When I checked my Gmail account this morning I was overjoyed to see a surprise email from long-lost friend.(Hi Tomoko!) I've lost touch with quite a few friends from Japan. If you are one of them, send me an email: karamoon (at) gmail (dot) com

I spent most of the day studying and reading. In the evening I headed into the city centre to attend the monthly SISJAC lecture on Japanese culture.

My name was down on the booking sheet as Karamoon, which was kind of cool. I usually book from my work email account, but this time I had booked the seats from one of my personal email accounts which had my name set as Karamoon.

Before the lecture I saw my friends Keiko and Geoffry. There wasn't time to talk much to eachother, but it was good to see them nonetheless.

The lecture was better than average. The subject was Japonisme, which is a fusion of Japanese and European art. It mainly covered the French impressionist movement and how it influenced and was influenced by Japanese art.

After the lecture I met Simon, the assistant director of the institute. We had a brief chat. Simon is very enthusiastic about things, so it's always good to talk to him.

My friends George and Barbara were also at the lecture.

Dinner at the Thai Dragon with Keiko and Yurika. It's really wonderful to eat at a good restaurant where I'm known personally to the staff. The food was, as always, excellent.

Keiko, Yurika and I discussed many topics of interest over dinner. Topics of note included: whether there is a time to stop reading. Why there are so many clever people working in crap jobs in Japan, why Japanese people often claim to enjoy doing crap jobs and whether "Making the most of it" a positive personality trait...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Passport Kontrol

My new passport arrived today. I feel much better now. Without my passport I felt trapped in this maggot-ridden country. I look ok in my passport photo, slightly less like a serial killer...

Stayed up until 5 am watching "Smiley's People". Didn't see much of the sunrise but, as it was cloudy, there may not have been much of it to see. I'm going to make an effort to stay up all night once every couple of weeks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Teletext, Teletest

Spent some time reading about Teletext, Ceefax, Oracle, Viewdata and other things from my youth. I was surprised to read that Viewdata, a kind of pre-historic Internet-like service, is still being used by UK travel agents. Its days are obviously numbered as the Internet is replacing everything.

A friend came in to work to take an IT exam today. Hadn't seen him for a long time. Had an inspirational chat. Recently went from 25k to 45k plus a company car. I'm not interested in money but it was still great to hear that there are well-paying, interesting IT jobs in the UK for those who bother to look for them.

Towards the end of the day an old guy came in for a telecommunications convergence exam. We talked for 15 minutes about the past, present and future of telecommunications. We discussed VoIP, phreaking, fibreoptic technologies and much more besides. It was fascinating. I do love people sometimes, just not very often.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Paradise Is...

Things are hotting up at the office. Summer is almost here but the heating for the building hasn't been switched off yet. Spending time here is exhausting. I come home soaked in sweat and very annoyed.

As usual I resolved to stay up all night studying, and as usual I didn't do it. Instead, I stayed up until 3 am watching "Smiley's People", a BBC drama series made in 1982. My Plantronics DSP headset has a very long cable, so I was able to lie in bed and immerse myself another world. People who use drugs obviously don't have very good DVD collections.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Healthy Mouth

Finally starting to realise that I need some time away from computers. Hardly used a computer at all today, and felt much better for it. I have five computers in my bedroom, which probably isn't very healthy. A friend is donating a sixth PC to me quite soon...

Must find my birth certificate very soon as I need it for work. I have no ID at the moment because I'm in the process of renewing both my passport and driving lisence, and I lost my birth certificate ages ago.

My mouth has healed itself! Woot! It just goes to show that I'm great.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Increase Da Peace

Ran a peace stall opposite an army recruitment fair. Very, very funny. There were about 50 soldiers and cadets with huge army tents, vehicles and flags. We had a table, 6 people and truth on our side.

Late lunch at The Greenhouse. Ate very dry, very savory, very expensive food. I sincerely hope that everyone involved with the Greenhouse meets an unpleasant end in the near future. It just makes me sick.

Watched Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Have Your Cake And Eat It

Tomorrow there will be a birthday party for a boat that my father and some of his friends own together. Sounds kind of dumb, but the cake looks very good. There's some left over icing so I'm going to make some 1337 tech-themed cakes in the future. Might post a pic of the boat cake soon.

I listened to "Is It Like Today?" by Worldparty on continuous loop for almost two hours. Not sure if it makes me feel young again or much older.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Work It

Had a great day at work. Can't really say why in my blog. If you'd like more details, just drop me an email. Had a long meeting after work. Lots of talk about doing maths tuition as part of our business. The guy we will be running the maths project with said he would be able to pay me four times my current hourly wage once the project is established...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Choose Life, Choose Tuesday

I should have gone to my martial arts lesson tonight, but decided against it because I have some grim sores on my gums. If I was to be punched in the mouth during the lesson I would certainly suffer. I'd probably be able to laugh about it later though.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Morning, Monday Mourning

Got to sleep at 2:26 am this morning. I then got up at 6:45. I'm so very tired and quite dirty.

Ate breakfast. Made a packed lunch to take to work. I know other people do that kind of thing very often, but it's been ages since I managed to eat breakfast before work and also to prepare lunch. Seems like years since I was last at work.

Took a sales call from some guy in a call centre. He was trying to sell our business a new phone service. I pretended to think that he wanted to buy a telephone service from us. The call went on for about 5 minutes. The highlight was when the guy had to transfer me to his supervisor...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Great Commotion

Spent pretty much all day trying to get The Great Commotion finished. It's truly crap. Wrote three articles, all of which are rubbish. I'm not sure I want to be involved with it again. On the other hand, if I quit, it will just get worse.

Ate Chinese take-away from Planet Wok for dinner. Very good. I should put more effort into cooking decent food. I probably won't bother though.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

EASF In Ipswich

Met Suzi, Rumiko and Youth Section in the train station. We took the 11 am train. Rumiko was confused by Youth Section's name. The train journey was pleasant and not too long.

We eventually got to Citizens Advice Bureau where EASF was to be held. There were about 30 people, which seemed a lot because the room was quite small. There were several stalls around the room so I put out some copies of the Great Commotion and a load of Ubuntu CDROMS. My friend Louis told me that Ubuntu had come to the rescue in the morning when he realised that the laptop they were going to use for the presentations didn't have Microcrap Powerpoint installed. I had previously give Ipswich Anarchists some Ubutu discs, Loius used one of them to install Open Office, which is semi-compatible with Microcrap Office. We were therefore able to show the Powerpoint presentations that some of the speakers had made.

At every political event anyone organises, there is at least one disruptive person. Fortunately the disruptive man at Ipswich EASF was dealt with very competently by my friend Rebecca. When he started to rudely interrupt people, Rebecca just shouted at him to shut up. This happened a couple of times, but he got the message.

During one of the breaks there was an unpleasant incident involving some strawberries. Various people had provided food to share. Among the food provided were some strawberries. A particularly unpleasant woman complained that the strawberries were imported. The strawberries were not imported, and besides, the woman hadn't donated any fucking food, so she had no right to complain about anything anyway. Just as I was about to drag her out by her hair and smash her head in, I decided not to, and several people argued with the woman. I ate some cake and walked off.

The talks were very good. Most were about environmental issues such as nuclear power, community gardening, there were also talks on nuclear weapons, an independent school and the UK public sector pensions crisis. The talks were only 30 minutes long, which worked very well.

We spent the evening in a noisy pub. Smoke, noise, the smell of old beer, annoying people. What the fuck is the point of pubs?

At some expensive, bland noodles from an Asian restaurant/takeaway called Mizu. They sucked. Never again.

While hanging around in the waiting room at Ipswich train station, I gave a quick demonstration of phone hacking with a public phone. The train journey home was great. Rumiko had left earlier, but we were joined by Jan and Luzie. We had all had a great day, so we felt satisfied and enthused.

Went to Will and Ella's flat. Will lent me the Japanese anime series called "3x3 Eyes". I've seen a couple of episodes of 3x3 Eyes before, it used to be shown on TV
in the early hours in the morning, and was very surreal. Once my life calms down, I'll watch them all, hopefully over the period of a weekend.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dinner Party

I briefly attended the 2600 hacker meeting. Stryder from Great Yarmouth came and brought his sister along. Stryder hasn't been at many meetings, so it was great to see him again. We talked about some tech stuff, mainly CB radio. I had to leave after a short time due to another appointment.

At 7 pm I met my friend Rumiko. She was wearing a lovely summer hat, and for a moment I was able to convince myself that the weather wasn't going to turn bad again in the near future. The two of us went to a dinner party held by my friend George. Birds in garden. We discussed the lack of birds in Tokyo, something that is sometimes hard to notice unless you deliberately think about it. Sitting in the garden of a city house in the warm, early evening, is pure paradise for me, particularly when I'm with interesting people.

I had warned George that I don't drink alcohol, and was thus provided with some very nice organic apple juice. George's friends, Nigel and Susan arrived after about an hour. Susan is a law professor at Cambridge university, Nigel is an historian.

George's wife Barbara cooked fantastic Greek food. I don't get many chances to eat home cooked food other than what I cook myself, this is mainly because my friends can't cook.

We discussed whether people trafficking should be tackled as a human rights issue instead of an organised crime issue. I'm still unsure.

Chatted about blogging and how it is replacing the media. I'm involved with several blogs now, and I should probably do much more to encourage my friends to blog. Richard, from Norwich 2600, gets into a great deal of trouble in his day-to-day life. It would make fascinating and hilarious reading so I'll keep persuading him to start a blog.

Barbara, Susan and I talked about whether computers make life easier or more difficult. People often forget that our standard of living is largely due to automation and computing. I certainly wouldn't argue that this is a good thing, but it is a fact of life.

Home at 2:30 am. Did some study. I'm really looking forward to going to the East Anglia Social Forum tomorrow.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Friends In High Places

Went to the post office to renew my passport. The post office is one of the UK's premier terrorist organisations, second only to BT, our monopolistic phone company. I paid 7 UKP, just to have someone at the post office read through my passport application form and post it for me. The passport itself costs 51 UKP. Having the photos taken cost me 2.5 UKP.

The new issue of the 2600 hacker magazine finally arrived at Borders. I had left my phone number on my previous visit, partly so that the someone could give me a call when 2600 got in, and partly because I felt that some of the younger female staff might have wanted to hang out with me. Nobody called. I'm not bitter, but I'll send them all to Hell before this month is over.

In my quest to pass exams, I've been forced to borrow lots of books from the public library. As a consequence of this, and my general dissent into grubbiness, I ran up about 3 UKP in library fines. Having no money, I didn't really want to pay them. There's also a moral dimension, as the library just buys porn at the moment anyway. When I logged into my library account today I discovered that my fines had disappeared. Stuff like this just happens to Karamoon. Life rocks.(Thanks Spoony, you're a prince!)

Went to the editors' meeting of The Great Commotion newsletter. The new issue should go to print on Sunday. It may include five articles by me, making it almost "Karamoon's Great Commotion".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Keeping The Peace

Went to the peace meeting. Lots and lots of heated debate. Some really serious issues were discussed and the level of debate was generally very high.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Is It Like Today?

Made a new friend today in Taiwan(Hi Angie!). I'm not in Taiwan. Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Downloaded the video of "Is It Like Today" by Worldparty. Watched it over and over again. My head is swimming, overflowing with powerful memories. When Is It Like Today came out I was reading "Ringworld" by Larry Niven. I was young then. Not so tired. I listened to the radio a lot, while I read and thought. The lyrics fitted the book so well. "Then there followed days of Kings, Empires and revolution. // Blood just looks the same when you open the veins."

I'm not looking after myself at the moment. Sleep, clean clothes, regular meals, washing, healthy food, exercise, I know nothing of these things. Fuck. I'm losing it. I don't care enough to sort it out yet, I'm just going to slide deeper into the shit for a while.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day, May Day, May Day

Workers of the World, Unite!

Stood in the rain, trying to change the world, and trying not to eat doughnuts. A handful of us. Damp, cold and pathetic.

Went to a hippy mayday gathering by the river. It was a fine advert for the extermination of an underclass. Hedgemonkeys.