Squodge Squodge

The Purple Penguin

Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Just been playing with my site stats before heading off to bed. I'm top of the German Google list for "women mud wellies":-) I've also been hit by someone looking for "women in wellies" through Swiss Google. Hmmm.

posted at 10:24 PM
Remember all the laughter last month when PwC had the bright idea of renaming their consulting arm to "Monday"? It appears that they have finally realised what a silly idea this was and have sold out to IBM. Not quite the end of an era :-)

In an update to a previous storm in a teacup, 3 people have been charged with deception over an alleged attempt to cheat at Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

And finally, some cool some cool satellite piccies of a hurricane.

posted at 10:14 PM
Tuesday, July 30, 2002
I've made it back from my weekend jaunt to Womad, where I had a lovely time relaxing, hanging out with friends and listening to some good tunes. I had been told by the people we went with that there is always a heatwave for the festival, and it was a complete scorcher. We've had temperatures around 30 degrees C over South-East England for the last few days. As I type it's 8.30 in the morning and the thermometer has already hit 25, so I expect it's going to be another hot one.

An Australian court has ruled that it is legal to chip a PlayStation so you can play games from different regions. Before we get too excited though, UK & US courts have returned the opposite verdict.

Good news for the lazy - exercising early in the morning may supress the immune system. On a related theme, a plate of cookies in the morning is no worse for you than some breakfast cereals. I'm off to eat some biscuits in front of the TV then :-)

posted at 7:32 AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Just a quick post tonight - off tomorrow to Womad. I've got my tent, my sleeping bag, my ticket and a credit card - as long as I've got the basics covered I'm sure I can cope with camping right near a city centre :-) I'm really looking forward to it. This is my first festival in Reading, although I'm a seasoned veteran of Glastonbury mudbaths.

Long hours at work combined with getting ready for camping have severely restricted my surfing time of late. To keep you amused, here's a piece on
deflecting asteriods.

posted at 10:44 PM
Monday, July 22, 2002
I've had a fab weekend. The wedding on Saturday was superb - it was lovely catching up with old friends over a drink or two. Supertramp were fantastic, and they were supported by Paul Carrick who was excellent. In a few days I'll be heading over to Reading for Womad, so I'm going to go quiet again!

In the meantime,
Jeffrey Archer has had his appeal turned down. Looks like he'll be staying in jail for a while then :-)

A new big squid has been discovered in Australia. Apparently it has muscles that other squids don't and has such a high ammonia content that it would taste of cleaning fluid!

posted at 8:50 PM
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Good news for UK surfers - Oftel are forcing BT to slash the wholesale price of unmetered services by 8.5%. The ISPs now have the opportunity to pass the savings onto unmetered 'slowband' users. BT reported this week that they are receiving 12,000 broadband orders a week. Oftel calculate that there will be 750,000 boradband users by the end of the month. For anybody considering the switch to broadband, my advice is just do it. After a month you'll be wandering why you ever waited :-)

The Emmy nominations were announced today. I am currently watching 3 shows at the moment - Six Feet Under (23 nominations), The West Wing (21 nominations) and 24 (a few including best drama & best actor). As I post I am watching a triple bill of Friends which picked up 11 nominations.

It's going to be a PC free weekend for me, so I'm going to go quiet for a while. Off to Worthing after work tomorrow for a wedding on Saturday, followed by a Supertramp concert in Hyde Park. A bit on the busy side then :-)

posted at 8:13 PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Time for a little rant on that growing social evil that is spam. Via manic I came across a very good article: The Spam Has Got To Go. My favourite anti-spam site is Randy Cassingham's spam primer, which contains lots of good advice. A good one for those relatively new to the web and e-mail.

I'm becoming increasingly annoyed by spam text messages. I don't tend to really using texting myself as it costs money and I'm never far away from a net connection, so I'd say about half of the texts I receive are trying to sell me something. Most irritating!

posted at 7:31 PM
Monday, July 15, 2002
The GLA opened the doors on London's new City Hall today. Personally I love the building and have done ever since they started putting it up. There is plenty of open access public space, including the whole of the top floor, so at some point I'll pop along for a look. For lots of cool piccies click here.

posted at 5:26 PM
Saturday, July 13, 2002
Just added a "links open new window" checkbox - most cool. Credit for this useful little script goes to random walks. Thank you very much :-) And while we're at it, thanks to oin for bringing it to my attention!

Had a long hard day's shopping today - looking for a birthday present for my Dad, a wedding present, an outfit to wear to several weddings this summer (starting with one next Saturday), some new boots & shoes for work, camping supplies for a trip to Womad ..... I don't go shopping very often, so when I do I have an endless list of stuff I need to get. Managed to get most of the stuff on the list but failed miserably on a dress for next weekend. This means I'm going have to try and get myself kitted out during a week which is already looking quite busy. (And yes I do need a new outift - all the dresses I already own seem to have shrunk whilst hanging up in the wardrobe since last summer!) Going out to the shops every so often reminds me why I normally just get stuff over the net :-)

posted at 6:06 PM
Friday, July 12, 2002
It's been a long week, and I'm tired. I am so glad it's the weekend. Had a terrible journey into work today - once in a while Connex throw us a train with only 4 carriages rather than the usual 6 or 8, just to keep us on our toes. I don't understand why they have to do that - it's not like the train is half empty when it's twice the size! I get a train followed by 2 tubes to work (which sounds a lot worse than it actually is!), so I have to change twice, which means trying to get off a train whilst loads of other people are trying to get on. Why can't people realise that if eveybody waited for another 30 seconds the whole process would be a lot less painful and faster. Plus of course the people who adopt the "I'm not getting off here so I'll just stand in the middle of a packed aisle rather than moving 6 inches so people can get past" attitude. What really makes me mad though is people who get off a crowded train and then just stop dead, 4 inches in front of the train doors. How can they not notice the 50-odd people trying to stream out past them. And don't get me started on people who stop dead at the bottom of the escalators! Where can the person behind (normally me) go except straight into the back of them. There are literally thousands of people passing through my tube station everyday, and a few complete idiots who are completely unaware of their surroundings can manage to seriously annoy hundreds of people. Why can't we all mellow out a bit more and recognise that there are other human beings in the world. /rant off :-)

Anyway, where all this is leading to, is today somebody actually apologised to me for not holding a door open for me as I passed out of the shopping centre at lunchtime. To be honest, I hadn't even noticed, so it can't have been that grave a lapse of courtesy! I really appreciated the fact that somebody I didn't know had actually acknowledged my existence. So here is my challenge to anybody reading this over the weekend who works in a city - make a commuter smile on Monday. If we can all put one random commuter into a good mood by holding open a door or giving way rather than elbowing onto the train who knows where it could lead? Wouldn't it be nicer to work in an office where people arrived smiling rather than moaning :-)

I've been catching up on my mail tonight, and I thought I'd share some with you. I've been subscribing to
Heroic Stories for a couple of years now. Once a week I get a fairly short story, submitted by one of the readers, telling how ordinary people make the world a better place for ordinary people. The stories are very varied and come from all sorts of people all over the world. Some of them are very moving, and some just make you smile. There are also a selection of comments from readers on previous stories, some threads of which can go on for months. If you've never come across it, I recommend you click the link above and check out the sample stories on offer.

posted at 10:55 PM
Thursday, July 11, 2002
Ever one to jump on the latest blogging bandwagon, I've joined the blogChalking revolution. Maybe now I'll stop vanishing from Google all the time!
Here's the bit you need to post for it to work: Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United Kingdom, London, Sydenham, Squodge, Female, 26-30!

posted at 7:22 PM
It's been a fairly heavy 24 hours on the life of my blog. Apologies to anyone who's tried and failed to drop by for a visit. My ISP moved all homepages to a new server yesterday, destroying everybody's blogs in the process. Just the blogs - everything else got copied over OK. After much confusion and hassle they got us back up this afternoon, and then did it all again! If I keep disappearing and reappearing over the next couple of days please bear with me - I'm not going away and it's not my fault!

Here's one I've had waiting to share with you since yesterday, a
mail-order bride, arriving in Moscow from the US. Normally you would expect a mail-order bride to be going in the other direction, by Lubya is a giraffe who has been sent to Moscow Zoo, in the hope that she'll get it on with Samson, the zoo's male giraffe. Isn't that sweet :-)

I promise to try about something non-animal related next time!

posted at 6:57 PM
Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Yesterday, snowcat reported cow-napping in Covent Garden. Yesterday, went I left the office there were 3 members of the cow parade outside the tube station, firmly attached to their concrete bases. This morning, however, there were but two, accompanied by a dark patch on the pavement where the third cow had stood, just 13 hours earlier. Is there an epidemic of cattle-rustling sweeping through London? And why can I find no reports on this anywhere?

posted at 7:55 PM
This blog appears to have been temporarily taken over by hedgehogs! I honestly haven't been looking for this stuff, it's just found me. I'm being stalked by a cyber-hedgehog or something. For fans of Mrs Tiggywinkle here's a triple bill.

In a update on the hedgehogs of Uist, the latest suggestion is to transport all the hedghogs to England and give them to gardeners who want them. Hedgehogs are very effective at eating slugs and snails, and are better for friendly garden animals than slug pellets. Before you decide to accept a friendly hedgehog it mught be worth bearing in mind that Uist went from a population of 3 hedgehogs in the 70's to a surplus of 5,000 they now need to get rid of.

A pair of albino hedgehogs have been discovered in Derbyshire. So there you go.

And on the continent, police in Germany were called out after loud screaming was heard by an old lady. Upon investigation they discovered 2 hedgehogs engaged in a mating ritual. Apparently the male hedgehogs scream at the females until they give in :-)

posted at 7:45 PM
Tuesday, July 09, 2002
My posting appears to have hit a bit of a lull over the last week or so. I've been working too hard, and ending up tired and devoid of inspiration by the time I get home. Never mind - another couple of weeks and normal service should be resumed.

In an update from last Tuesday, the
hedgehogs have won a reprive while the animal welfare groups have their say. One proposed solution to the problem is to transport the hedgehogs over to the mainland where they can't eat all the eggs any more. Adding 5000 additional hedgehogs into an established ecosystem sounds a little crazed to me - I can just see the headlines 20 years down the line when someone suggests culling the hedgehogs that are upsetting the ecosystem on the Scottish mainland.

Random ramble - how cool is the word hedgehog. Not a word I tend to use in everyday conversation, but one that sounds lovely. For more info on hedgehogs, visit the International Hedgehog Association. And should it ever become useful, here are a load of tips on how to prepare your hedgehog for show competions.

posted at 8:01 PM
Sunday, July 07, 2002
Well. Wimbledon is over once again. Unsuprisingly, the women's competition was won by one of the Williams sisters, and the mens trophy was not won by a Brit. The final even had it's own streaker!

Yesterday I went to the Game On exhibition at the Barbican. A top day out for any gamer within reach of London - 11 to get in and play all those arcade games you never see any more. Some of the games didn't live up to my recollection (like Frogger for example), but then I guess we didn't know any better at the time :-) They have machines spanning the last 40 years, right up to the latest consoles. They've even got groovy new technology that's on it's way. I may even go back for another go myself. If you're interested, it's open till 15th September.

Oh well, Monday tomorrow. Back to reality :-(

posted at 10:32 PM
Just a quick one for now :-) The Guardian are compiling a directory of weblogs. Pop along and add yours to the list today!

And for anyone who hasn't yet, wander along to the bloggers tube map to see who's blogging in your neck of the woods. Obviously only relevant to those of us who live in the sprawling mass that is London. If you wandered over a couple of weeks ago when everybody else was talking about it, now could be a good time to meander back. Just been for a repeat visit myself, and loads more links have appeared.

Time for me to go and do some chores whilst contemplating which of the many topics running through my head should be blogged first :-)

posted at 11:20 AM
Thursday, July 04, 2002
I've just been wandering through my blog rolls to see what everyone's been thinking about over the last couple of days. Thanks to Gert I've been visiting Peter Mandelson's site. I'm not a big fan of the man, if truth be told, but respect if due for his website. The Q&A page is thoughtful and the bit about his constituency (Hartlepool) was nice.

It then dawned on me that I had no idea who my own MP was, and thought I'd see what his web presence was like. Meet Jim Dowd, MP for Lewisham West, whose only web site is quite frankly pitiful! So I thought I'd try to find out more about the man who had described Lewisham as a "fairly anonymous part of inner suburban London". Well, it appears we have a "fairly anonymous" MP to match :-) The most informative article I could find was in The Guardian, but that only tells me he's an MP and when he was born!

So much for Tony's ambitions for e-government :-)

posted at 7:11 PM
Tuesday, July 02, 2002
Reasons why we shouldn't play with ecosystems #7 - A cull of hedgehogs is being proposed in a couple of The Western Isles in Scotland. A pair of hedgehogs were introduced to the islands in the 1970's by a gardener as a form of pest control. There are now so many that the plan is to kill 5,000 of them as the hedgehogs are busy eating thousands of bird eggs, to the extent that some bird populations are down by around 60%.

Reason #1 - the extinction of the dodo, caused by deforestation and the introduction of cats, rats and pigs by Portugese sailors on the island of Mauritius.

Reason #2 - the near extinction of the Mauritian calvaria tree, which sprouted seeds only after being eaten and digested by the dodo. When the dodo became extinct, the calvaria tree nearly followed. Man, of course, caused the extinction of the dodo (see #1).

That's enough learning for one day. I'll come up with reasons 3 to 6 another day.

In the news today, Vivendi are the latest conglomerate to be hit by a major accounting scandal, sending their shares, along with everybody else's, plummeting downwards. A few days ago, whilst commenting on Worldcom, I mentioned ntl: as one I thought would follow soon. I also mentioned off-line that I thought Vivendi had to crash and burn too (if only I'd put my keyboard where my mouth is :-). I wonder if any of the bookies are taking bets on the next finance scandal to hit - the way the markets are going I'll need to boost my pension pot somehow!

posted at 10:02 PM



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blogchalk: Squodge/Female/26-30. Lives in United Kingdom/London/Sydenham and speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection.

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