Robert Hampton

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January 2006

1st January 2006

Rob’s new year’s resolutions for 2006
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I decided to post them somewhere public so I can come back in a year’s time and feel ashamed/proud (delete as applicable) to have stuck to them. So… in no particular order:-

  • I will spend less time on the computer.
  • The time I do spend on the computer will be spent on productive activities and not repeatedly refreshing Homestar Runner to see if the latest Strong Bad E-mail is online.
  • All those under construction pages on this site will be… er, constructed.
  • The blog will be less boring.
  • I will stop playing the pronoun game.
  • I will stop being so timid about speaking up and expressing my opinions.
  • I will read more (I used to love books. Why did I stop reading books?)
  • I will find a job in a workplace that doesn’t drain my soul from my body.
  • All those really super ideas I have for comedy sketches and stuff, I will actually write down and do something with.

Happy new year, everybody. 🙂

All together now… # Should old acquaintance be forgot and never la la laaa / La laaa la la la laaa la la da da daaa da Auld Lang Syne #

And on and Amazon…
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Amazon‘s system of recommending products based on what you’ve previously purchased usually works quite well, but I think all those Christmas presents I bought for other people have upset the system slightly:

Recommended for me?

2nd January 2006

Who Killed the Sitcom?
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Carla Lane came across as being just a little bitter, I thought.

As an unabashed fan of the traditional audience sitcom, I’m quite pleased that Channel 4 did this show tonight — their last effort was Who Killed Saturday Night TV? and within months Doctor Who and Bruce Forsyth showed up to make Saturday night popular again. Here’s hoping something similar happens here.

3rd January 2006

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Your NHS at work again:-

A London hospital has apologised to a patient after he returned to his room to find a vagrant asleep in a bed.

You know what this blog needs?
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Categories! Lots and lots of categories! Each containing a cornucopia of subcategories within!

If I had categories, people who weren’t interested could skip right over my obsessive model railway posts. However, until then…

Hornby (God bless ’em) bought the assets of the bankrupt Lima company back in 2004. Now their purchase is bearing fruit for the UK modeller, as a veritable smorgasbord of ex-Lima products are included in their 2006 lineup. Including my all time favourite DMU (although not in Regional Railways colours, which is what I want). The Lima class 121 and 156 are also being updated and released under the Hornby name.

With all that and a completely new Pendolino model on the way, it looks like a large chunk of my hard-earned cash is going to be heading Hatton’s way again this year. 🙂

4th January 2006

I prefer to think of myself as The Mighty Brain
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Looking at this web site of old Commodore Format mags, I felt slightly uncomfortable for some reason:-

Roger Frames buys budget games

I don’t know why; he looks nothing like me…

5th January 2006

Round up and such
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Here are some links that I was browsing at work while I should have been… you know, working:-

The BBC publish the entries from a competition to show why punctuation is a Good Thing.

Dilbert has taken a rather odd turn this week, with a bizarre storyline featuring the strip’s artist, Scott Adams, getting trapped in a strange Wizard of Oz parody. Stuck in his own strip, he is seeking help from Wally, whose head is shaped like a giant coffee mug (here’s the first strip in the series).

Here’s the best news ever: Futurama may be returning, after the DVD and repeats on Cartoon Network became surprise hits. It’s all very tentative at the moment, but with Family Guy‘s uncancellation in 2004, it looks promising.

Brokeback Mountain, a sensitively-handled tale of romance and forbidden love between two men in the American west (or “the gay cowboy film” if you’re lazy), is opening tomorrow. I really want to see this one.

Oh, and British politics is becoming like the West Wing, only interesting. So nothing like the West Wing, in fact.

6th January 2006

Gallow(ay)s Humour
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According to the BBC, George Galloway “does not like drunkenness, bad manners, bigotry and ignorance”

And he’s gone into the Big Brother house?!

8th January 2006

Round up again
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I went to see Brokeback Mountain this afternoon, and I don’t mind telling you, I cried like a little girl at the end.

WHSmith are selling off all their Christmas stuff dirt cheap. A box of 50 baubles for 49p (was £13.99)? Result!

Seb linked to something entertaining (yes, even he manages it from time to time :)). I do like the Flash animation; I wish I had the talent to produce it, or the looks to get someone else to produce it in exchange for sex. Maybe then I could do something with that spare domain I’ve been hanging on to for years.

And last, but by no means first, I’ve invested in Premium Bonds, which should make Alan Sugar happy. Not that I need to make him happy; we already have an Amstrad Sky Digibox.

14th January 2006

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Here’s an advert I found in the February 2006 issue of Model Rail magazine. I’ve circled a part of the ad which I thought was slightly strange. Have a look and see if you agree:-

Advertisement for Flair Rail shop -- full range of lingerie also available

15th January 2006

Essential Engineering Works
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The Merseyrail line which runs past my house is closed every weekend until the end of January. A minor inconvenience, although to hear my parents’ reaction you’d think we were completely cut off from the rest of the world. If only there were some form of public transport which ran on roads instead of rails…

I’m working on a new design for the site. The black text on yellow background looked OK when I first did it, but seems a bit drab now. My new favourite font is Trebuchet MS, so expect to see that everywhere.

And yes, I will get the “About Me” page done.

16th January 2006

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me five times…
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The Guardian makes quite a good point about the whole Sven-Goran Eriksson thing: why do people keep falling for the fake sheikh? You’d think after two or three times they’d catch on and learn to be just a bit more wary about a total stranger turning up with an invite to an evening of champagne-quaffing.

Still, I’m not going to be too hard on Eriksson — it can’t be easy to manage a football team and make all those mobile phones too.

17th January 2006

Ex’s parrot
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Today’s news story straight out of a sitcom script comes from Leeds.

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“Viewers may be pleased to know that Clive Pounds, who died during the making of that programme, has since come back to life.”

My Look Around You Series 2 DVD arrived yesterday, and all other activities ceased while I watched it. I ended up watching all 6 episodes plus all the extras in one go, which I don’t normally do except in cases of extreme brilliance such as this. A lot of people slagged off series 2 when it was shown, and I cannot comprehend why, especially when it was packed full of lines like the one above.

Read the rest of this post »

20th January 2006

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Cool Runnings II — this time it’s personal.

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My new credit card arrived today, together with a letter informing me that I need to phone up and activate it before it can be used. “Lines open 7.30am to 9.00pm” it said. I phone up, and it’s an automated system using the touch tone buttons. So why does it have limited opening times? Why can’t it run 24/7? If there’s an obvious reason, I can’t think of it right now.

21st January 2006

So Long, and Thanks for All The Fish
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BBC News 24 have just announced, in hushed tones usually reserved for the death of a Royal Family member, that the whale found in the River Thames has died.

Am I the only one who thinks the media have gone ever so slightly over the top in covering this story? In the normal scheme of things I would expect this to be relegated to the back end of the Six O’Clock News, just before The News Where You Are. I turned on Sky News earlier today and found it in full “Breaking News” mode with graphics flying all over the screen and continuing live coverage.

As of this moment, Google News has found 1,001 stories about the whale; almost as many as the recently announced Iraqi Election Results.

23rd January 2006

Insert “Balls” joke here
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Watching the tail end of the Snooker Final, waiting in vain for an American Dad episode which never appeared, I was able to draw a couple of conclusions:-

  1. Snooker requires an incredible amount of skill. Getting the angle of the cue right; to make the balls roll and bounce off the cushions so that you not only pot one ball, but set yourself up to make the next shot too: it’s not easy. Snooker is a difficult game to play and John Higson or whatever his name is should be praised for his victory.
  2. Skilful or not, it is the most tedious thing in the entire world to actually watch.

25th January 2006

You know you’re obsessed with model railways when…
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Bachmann announce they’re going to do a model of a Class 150/2 Sprinter and you actually clench your fist and do the “yes!” gesture.

Burns Night
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Let us honour the great man.

27th January 2006

I need to get out more
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I spent an hour typing rude words into Streetmap.

And here are the results: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

I’m going to hell.

29th January 2006

Sew Necks Please, I’m British
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From — yes, them again — BBC News:-

Forget learning lines or polishing jokes – having sex may be the best way to prepare for giving a speech.

New Scientist magazine reports that Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of Paisley, found having sex can help keep stress at bay.

I wonder if the Queen does this before giving her Christmas message?

Soupy Twist
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Series 1 of A Bit Of Fry And Laurie is out on DVD in April!

If you’re as excited as I am about this, you might like to know the BBC are bringing out some special commemorative oven gloves, in the shape of special commemorative oven gloves.

…oh Christ, I left the iron on.

30th January 2006

Coming out
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Damn it, I like James Blunt and I don’t care who knows it!