Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

February 2007

1st February 2007

Blaired vision

I cannot condone vandalism – except in this case, which is highly amusing.

2nd February 2007

Please make the painful TV go away
Posted by at 8.10pm | Television | No responses

I don’t think my memory’s faulty here — I’m sure there was a time in the not-too-distant past when Red Nose Day was a day to look forward to, because you were guaranteed an entire night of comedy A-listers appearing one after the other to help a good cause.

This year’s line-up, on the other hand, looks fairly lacklustre:

Girls Aloud and Sugababes, who have recorded the new Comic Relief single, a cover of Run DMC and Aerosmith’s Walk This Way.

An undoubted highlight on the night will be the return of The Vicar of Dibley for the very last time.

Chris Moyles will also be hitting the road to get the nation singing in Rallyaoke.

And, saving the best for last:

Presenters Patrick Kielty and Claudia Winkleman announced the return of Comic Relief Does Fame Academy. Just who will be warbling for The Big One? Watch this space.

It’s for charity!

5th February 2007

I could be wholesome, I could be loathsome

Last month I suddenly realised that I have two weeks’ worth of paid leave which I haven’t taken, and which I would lose if I didn’t take them by the end of March. So I’m off work this week. It occurred to me this morning that I should have made plans to actually do something. Ho-hum.

Myself and several hundred fellow shoppers were unceremoniously chucked out of St John’s Shopping Centre on Sunday afternoon after the electricity was cut off. As I left I could hear the lift alarm bell being frantically rung by some poor sod trapped inside. I walked past again about an hour later and saw various confused pensioners milling around outside, trying to push the locked doors open, the fools. I think the one thing that could turn people ugly is being deprived of shopping for an extended period. Even at Christmas time they don’t dare close up for more than one day. There’d be riots otherwise, like in the 1970s.

My current computer is old and broken. Should I get a Mac Mini, and become, like all Mac users, a smug, self-satisfied tosser (become?), or should I get a new PC and tolerate the OK but not particularly exciting Windows Vista? It’s a serious question — I like what I’ve seen of Mac OS X, but it’s a big leap to make. I was a user of a minority platform once before — often, it’s not much fun.

The postman came this morning. Then he went out on his delivery round and brought me a package from, enclosing a CD of Life in Cartoon Motion, which I’ve been listening to all afternoon, and it’s great, no matter what anyone else says. So there.

Ooh, there’s a policeman outside my house. Oh, wait, it’s just a CSO. Not a proper policeman then. And now he’s gone.

6th February 2007

Life on Mars

Mars ran a TV commercial during the Super Bowl in the US, featuring as its “joke”, two men accidentally kissing while eating a Snickers bar and reacting with disgust. They then directed viewers to a website where they could vote for their favourite version of the commercial. Here are a couple of the choices, according to AMERICAblog, which is all over this story.

Ad 3: “Motor Oil.” After the guys kiss, they say “I think we just accidentally kissed – quick, do something manly,” and proceed to drink motor oil and I think anti-freeze – they guzzle it down, screaming at the top of their lungs, making them sick to their stomachs. The ad is vaguely violent – better to die than be gay.

Ad 4: “Wrench” (these are the actual names Snickers gave the ads). The two guys accidentally kiss, they say to each other again “quick, do something manly,” and one guy proceeds to pick up a huge oversized wrench and violently attack the other guy, while the second takes the first and throws him under the hood of the car, slamming it down on his head. Yes, the appropriate reaction to a guy kissing you is to beat the crap out of the guy who kissed you. Maybe Snickers should rename this ad “Matthew Shepard.”

The web site (which has been taken down following an outcry) also had bonus footage featuring players from the Super Bowl watching the ads and reacting with expressions of disgust and phrases like, “that ain’t right” — bear in mind these players are role models for millions of American children.

Essentially Mars used hatred (with a soupçon of violence) to sell chocolate, and it’s nothing short of disgusting. Certainly puts me off buying a Snickers bar ever again.

7th February 2007

Submit to me
Posted by at 6.03pm | It's My Life | No responses

Strangers are commenting on my blog! I don’t know what to do — someone give me a hug!

8th February 2007

Dude, you’re getting a… etc

A nice Irish lady phoned me up today to say that Dell will be arriving at my house on Monday morning to drop off a brand-spanking new Windows Vista PC with 19-inch LCD monitor, preloaded with Microsoft Office 2007.

My name is Robert Hampton, and I am Bill Gates’s bitch!

10th February 2007

It’s funny because it’s true

From Tech Digest, via Wil Wheaton (click to enlarge the image):

I’m a Mac. I’m a PC. I’m Linux

13th February 2007

First Impressions

New computer is working, but… Windows Easy Transfer is definitely a misnomer. Either that, or I have far too much porn data on my old computer.

14th February 2007

Second Impressions

I think I’m more or less up and running now. One of the first things that popped up when I switched on was a warning that a driver (i.e. one which was preinstalled on the machine) had been disabled because it was not compatible with Vista. Great. 😐 It doesn’t seem to be affecting anything, though.

I gave up on Easy Transfer after it repeatedly failed mid-copy with a network error. I copied everything across manually, which wasn’t too much trouble, just a question of finding where various programs keep their settings (why does DigiGuide save its settings in C:\Program Files? I’m sure it’s not supposed to do that).

Read the rest of this post »

15th February 2007

Love is in the air
Posted by at 1.05pm | In the News | No responses

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, of course, but today is far more important. February 15th was the day the Ancient Romans celebrated Lupercalia.

Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs.

Now, be honest — doesn’t that sound like a lot more fun?

17th February 2007

I’m watching BBC Two
Posted by at 1.32pm | Television | No responses

It was very odd watching Never Mind the Buzzcocks on Wednesday, knowing full well what was going to happen, and seeing that Preston was pissed off from the very beginning. There are very legal edited highlights on YouTube. It was a stroke of genius from Bill Bailey to drag someone out of the audience. Great stuff.

In other BBC Two news, the channel is ditching its old idents in favour of a new set. Let’s hope they bid farewell with an ident montage and a wry comment from the continuity announcer before Pages from Ceefax at 3:30am.

24th February 2007

Posted by at 12.31am | In the News, Trains | No responses

Virgin train off the tracks

The 24-hour news channels are all over this, but as ever the best commentary is on uk.railway.

25th February 2007

Say What You See
Posted by at 7.01pm | Television | No responses

Catchphrase Broadband Game — this is brilliant in at least seven different ways. I was struggling until I realised you could type your answer instead of clicking on the letters. *blush*

26th February 2007

On the right track
Posted by at 7.58pm | In the News, Trains | No responses

An excellent leader article in the Guardian today, bringing a much needed sense of perspective to things. Reading the whole thing is recommended, but the key quote is here:

Ten deaths in five years is a good safety record, not a bad one. One death in a 90mph derailment is a tribute to a safe railway, not a dangerous one, even if someone has been negligent this time. In the same five years, more than 15,000 people have died on the roads and more than a million have been injured. That is the real transport-safety scandal. Most of these road accidents received no public attention at all or were only briefly noticed. But then they can only be blamed on human beings, not on wicked corporations.

I travelled over the section of track in question a couple of times back in October. I’ll be happy to travel over it — or any other high speed line — again in the future