Robert Hampton

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April 2006

1st April 2006

Punt Frage
Posted by at 12.00am | Meta | No responses

So, new design, then. Still not sure about it, so I’ll leave the old site up for the time being as well.

UPDATE: On second thoughts, I think the old site is better. 😉

2nd April 2006

Ode to Joy
Posted by at 12.12pm | In the News, Radio | No responses

The BBC have a nice round-up of some of yesterday’s April Fools Day pranks. My personal favourite came from Radio 4’s Today who announced that the “popular” Radio 4 UK Theme was to be replaced by a new “EU Theme” (link goes to streaming RealAudio file) — cue predictably enraged Little Englanders.

5th April 2006

Model behaviour
Posted by at 6.47pm | Meta, Model Railway | 2 responses

Oh, hello — what’s this big parcel then?

Parcel of track and accessories

Yes, it’s a job lot of track and accessories from Hattons to start my layout. Hurrah!

Now’s as good a time as any to mention that I’ve been updating and expanding the model railway section of the site. Go and have a look. Unless, of course, you don’t care (that’ll be most of you, then).

8th April 2006

Posted by at 7.27pm | In the News | No responses

What kind of name for a horse is Numbersixvalverde?

10th April 2006

Work-related stress
Posted by at 9.36am | Work | No responses

Employee relations award of the month goes to the company I work for, who’ve just announced that nobody in the firm is getting a pay rise this year.

To soften the blow, they announced it in an unsigned memo circulated around the office, at a time when most of the senior management are away on holiday.

Lovely. 😐

I’m going to make some personal phone calls and make unauthorised use of the Internet.


Upon discovering that an open-source speech synthesiser has been released for RISC OS computers, I immediately rushed to download it.

I have, naturally, spent the last 30 minutes making it say various sweary words. This is a Good and Productive use of my time.

11th April 2006

Snarf Snarf

From the “meant to post about this last week” department:-

A new FBI-style crime-fighting agency has been launched in the UK, but what’s its big cat logo all about?

It’s bold but bears a striking resemblance to the logo of the 1980s children’s cartoon series Thundercats.

I was dubious, but when you look at the pictures on the BBC website, it’s easy to see where they’re coming from.

This could start a trend: I want the Department for Transport to adapt the logo from Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.

12th April 2006

Weirdest. Dream. Ever. Ish.

Last night I dreamt that ATOC abolished the Young Person’s Railcard. I was arguing the point with an unhelpful booking clerk at Lime Street station when I woke up.

Needless to say, I was on the Internet first thing this morning checking that it was just a terrible nightmare and the product (33% off most train fares!) still existed.

Any amateur dream analysts who want to discuss the deeper meaning of this slightly anorak-y dream, feel free to do so.

Actually, that reminds me, my card expires at the end of the month; I need to renew it.

13th April 2006

Klassy Lady
Posted by at 9.01am | Television | No responses

I was surprised to channel-surf onto BBC Two’s Stardate: Mysteries of Venus last night and see Myleene Klass attempting to view the titular planet through a telescope.

Initially I thought she had been parachuted into the programme as a cynical attempt to boost ratings, but it turns out that she is an amateur astronomer. Who’d have thought?

Democracy in Action
Posted by at 7.55pm | It's My Life | 1 response

My YouGov account is just £1.25 away from the magic five oh point oh oh figure needed for them to send a lovely crisp cheque out. Which is nice.

Knowing my luck I’ll probably be stuck on £48.75 for the rest of eternity. However, I’m hoping that with the local elections coming up (what do you mean, you didn’t know?!) there’ll be a flurry of polling activity over the next couple of weeks.

14th April 2006

Posted by at 10.18am | It's My Life | No responses

Remember everyone: Jesus died on the cross so I could have a four-day weekend. Or something…

Chocolate salty balls to you, too
Posted by at 5.28pm | Television | No responses

They’re at it again down at South Park:-

Parker and Stone were angered when told by Comedy Central several weeks ago that they could not run an image of Mohammed, according to a person close to the show who didn’t want to be identified because of the issue’s sensitivity.

What is disturbing is that Comedy Central’s decision is seemingly being influenced not by religious sensitivity (the same episode contained unflattering depictions of Jesus) but by threats of violence. Giving in under these circumstances is sending out the wrong message.

Anyway, it’s obvious that television is becoming too restrictive for what the South Park team want to do. Maybe they should consider a move onto the web, as a Flash animation or something similar. A kind of X-Rated Homestar Runner, in fact.

15th April 2006

New Media

Hanging around online — unloved, unnoticed and seemingly forgotten about — is the BBC Politics 97 web site, replete with slanty Beeb logo, misused <h6> tags and animated GIFs. Anyone else remember the half-arsed BBC site that existed around then, before the “proper” site came along a bit later?

Finding this has reminded me of two events from the mid-to-late 90s, as broadcasters took their first, faltering steps onto the net. The first was on Live & Kicking when they made a huge deal out of the fact that the programme now had an e-mail address — live& — only to have to do it again next week when someone pointed out that ampersands are not legal in e-mail addresses.

Read the rest of this post »

16th April 2006

If I’m wrong I’ll repent on my death bed
Posted by at 6.06pm | It's My Life | No responses

My nephew had his first Holy Communion today, which meant me dragging myself out of bed and attending an Easter Sunday service at a Catholic church.

I can honestly say that I have never felt more out of place than I did there today. As the Psalms and Bible readings continued apace (inaudibly because the sound system wasn’t working properly), I was fidgeting and wondering just what the point of it all is. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to feel the warmth and love of God smiling down upon you, but I felt nothing. I gave up after 45 minutes and went and stood outside with the other infidels.

Read the rest of this post »

17th April 2006

Keep it off my face
Posted by at 11.33am | Fun | No responses

See these guys? They’re not gay. That’s important to remember. Not gay (Link goes to not-safe-for-work video).

18th April 2006

Lots of people to meet, in the bungalow and on the street
Posted by at 9.16pm | It's My Life | No responses

This afternoon as I was walking to the gym after work, a middle-aged, tracksuit-clad man approached me in the street, with protesting child in tow. And here’s what he said to me:-

“‘Ey mate, how big’s a centimetre?” (he held his thumb and forefinger approximately 1cm apart) “Is it about that big?”
I was slightly taken aback, but replied: “Er, yeah.”
“See,” he said smugly to the child, “I told you.”

And off they went.

Things like this don’t seem to happen to other people.

21st April 2006

The beautiful game, apparently
Posted by at 5.44pm | Liverpool | No responses

A delightful tableau outside the Everton FC store at Central station tonight. A small boy, who couldn’t have been much older than 7 or 8, was walking past the shop with his mother, who turned to him and said, “what song do we sing?”

# Blue and white shite,
Blue and white shite,
Blue and white shite,
Blue and white shite #

A family has been united by irrational hate. God, this place can be a stupid, two-bit town at times.

22nd April 2006

Commander Worf’s head looks like a fanny!
Posted by at 4.34pm | Television | No responses

Box sets of Family Guy and American Dad, delivered two days before the official release date? That’ll do nicely. Cheers, Play!

25th April 2006

You’re beautiful, it’s true
Posted by at 10.36pm | It's My Life | No responses

I was stopped on Bold Street this evening by a woman wearing a Big Issue jacket. “Hello beautiful,” she said. That put me on my guard straight away — no-one calls me beautiful unless they want something.

She went on: “Got any money for me so I can sleep indoors tonight?”

I mumbled something about not having change and walked off.

The point is, the Big Issue make a big deal out of the whole “working, not begging” thing. In fact, their Vendor Code of Conduct explicitly says begging is not allowed. So what was she playing at?

26th April 2006

Just plane awful
Posted by at 5.58pm | In the News | No responses

Tom Tomorrow blogs about an idea too horrendous to even contemplate: a standing section on planes.

Wonder if Ryanair will try this?

27th April 2006

You have to love The Register
Posted by at 1.57pm | In the News | No responses

Where else could you find a story like this reported like this:-

Dan Hoyt, the New York subway perv who exposed himself masturbating to a 22-year-old web developer, has avoided a jail sentence, the New York Post reports.

He was quickly identified as the owner of two veggie restaurants called Quintessence, famed for their nutritious concoctions including “nut milk”.

30th April 2006

The domino effect (ask your parents)

Mario – Live.

This was linked from Noise to Signal, with the simple text “This is excellent”. They are correct.