gominokouhai: (Default)

It's been two years since the world ended, and I am still alive.

Caledonia's been calling me, and I'm going home.

It's been two years since the world began. Time to start living.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Well done, everyone. We're halfway out of the dark.

And so am I.

gominokouhai: (Inspector Fuckup)

[This was going to be a comment in reply to someone else's blog, but it wandered a little....]

I found an ink cartridge yesterday. I don't use ink cartridges, because it's not the 1930s. It was in an unused pocket of the belt pouch I use when travelling. At some point, years ago, we must have swapped pouches.

An ink cartridge. Very nearly gave me a relapse.

I thought about it for fifteen seconds, did a little mindful breathing, and tossed it.

I was fortunate, maybe, that shortly after my breakup and meltdown I was compelled to move cities on short notice. It forced me to rationalize: to determine the minimum necessary amount of Stuff with which I can live in reasonable comfort. It forced me to discard Stuff that I might otherwise have insisted on retaining as a keepsake. I had to pack all my Stuff into a single 1950s Admiralty-pattern kitbag and, as a result, it forced me to learn self-reliance at a point in my life when that's exactly what I needed.

Give me a sandwich toaster, a device with mobile internet, a change of underwear, and Kilkerran sherry wood, and I shall move the Earth.

I'm also fortunate that I could leave the rest of the crap in the flat and trust my staff to throw it out for me. The company billed me for it afterwards and they way they went about it was kind of dickish, but it helped a lot to have someone else deal with that for me. I could focus on the moving on.

And then there are things like this ink cartridge. The ink cartridge is a metaphor. We must have swapped pouches years ago: we bought two identical ones in the outdoor supplies shop in Aviemore, 2012 or so. I've been carrying her ink cartridge around for ages without realizing it. Yesterday I was able to dispose of it. A little bit more moving on was achieved.

Things like this are going to keep happening, piece by piece, with no end in sight, but each one is a step in the right direction, although it often doesn't feel like it at the time.

At some point, when I'm back in Edinburgh, I'm going to have to deal with the storage container, 80% of which is still filled with her Stuff (and which I'm still paying for). Does anyone have a need for several boxes of ladies' size 12 underwear?

(Isn't there a womens' shelter in Edinburgh? Is this the sort of thing they might want?)

I added pajh's Rule for Life #40 to the list last week, while I was down in That London, drinking in the pub with some friends. It is this: Never let someone else define who you are.

An obvious corollary is not to let yourself be defined by their Stuff, either. In fact, never let Stuff define you.

On aging

Sun, Feb. 28th, 2016 18:33
gominokouhai: (Default)

Today is my birthday. I am now older than my father was when I was born.

I'm still not interested in breeding—it's cruel enough to bring a new human into this dystopian nightmare world, worse yet to saddle one with my defective genetic legacy. Welcome to the world. The climate's fucked, the government is entirely composed of plutocratic psychopaths, and somehow we're all still racists. Oh, by the way, you have short hamstrings, chronic migraines, and a selection of interesting brain weasels. And stay away from red wine if you know what's good for you. Not going to inflict that on someone.

I do, however, regret the missed opportunity to have a convenient target for dad jokes. I would make the best dad jokes. Or perhaps I mean the worst.

Bloody hell, it's just occurred to me—if I had spawned, I would be a single parent now.

Quite happy staying as uncle pajh. Although I'm considering getting a dog. Or maybe a snake.

gominokouhai: (Khaaan!)

How did Kirk know he had to steal the Enterprise? Last thing he knew, Spock and his tube were burning up into their component atoms in the upper atmosphere of the Genesis Planet, to the tune of Amazing Grace. As far as Kirk knows, there's no body for him to rescue.

In the novelization, Saavik secretly adjusts the torpedo's orbital parameters to give Spock a soft landing. That's not the case in the movie, since David and the crew of the Grissom are surprised to find the tube on the surface. The gravitational fields were in flux, David says. That's remarkably fortunate, because otherwise it would have made for an incredibly awkward conversation with Spock's dad.

Sarek's logic is uncertain where his son is concerned )

Of course none of this would have happened in the first place if Chekov knew how to count to six.

On faith

Thu, Feb. 4th, 2016 23:05
gominokouhai: (Default)

Oh folks, hello folks. Tell me your personal canons. What's 100% true for you that isn't supported by the evidence?

Here are mine:

  • Season 6B.
  • The Romulans' backstory from the Rihannsu novels.
  • Elliot Pope is an unreliable narrator, and The Deadly Assassin didn't happen.
  • Sito Jaxa survived the events of Lower Decks. She was either on a super-secret mission that even Picard didn't know about, or she was captured by the Cardassians and released after the war.
  • John and Nancy totally got together when they grew up. I hope they survived the war.
  • The Daleks deployed the [or a] Time Destructor during the early stages of the Time War, which explains why the Doctor lost fifty years off his stated age somewhere between Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant.
  • Edward II wasn't killed at Berkeley Castle. He lived afterwards as a hermit in Europe.
  • John Harrison was merely the first of the Augments to be woken from cryofreeze when Admiral Marcus found the Botany Bay. With his genetically engineered intellect, he was smart enough to claim to be Khan.
  • Fall Out was another drug-induced hallucination, just like Living In Harmony or A, B, & C. Shattered Visage is personal soft canon.

Those are mine. What are yours?

gominokouhai: (Default)

I don't think I need to go into too much detail. This year has sucked giant cheesy gorilla dongs. I'd hope for better things from 2016, but frankly, that's setting a fairly low bar.

I gots plans for the new year )

Half way out of the dark.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Spare a thought please, this Yuletide season, for Jehane's family. I know them and I know that they're putting a brave face on it. But a table has four sides: and there's no way to set a table for christmas dinner without a big, glaring, empty gap where your daughter should be.

I wonder if I should phone them, polite friendly call to wish them well, or whether I'm too close to the problem and I'd make it worse.

~

Roastin a ham just now, and once that's out of the oven the pheasant is goin in. The brine this year is ginger, orange juice (oranges left over from sazeracs), and rum. And too much bicarbonate of soda. Usually I use bicarb to wash my hair, so I have a giant jar of it with a huge spoon, and hence my quantities were off. Or perhaps not. I'll know in a couple of hours.

I also have sausagemeat stuffing, sossinges with bacon wrapped round, potatoes, and parsnips and sweet potatoes that I'mma roast with a maple glaze. I am fully aware that I live on my own, but circumstances should never stifle genius. Fortunately, I'm fond of sandwiches.

Also, it's cold enough in this flat that I don't need to keep any of the leftovers in the fridge. The counter will be just fine.

~

Merry christmas all. Now get back to work or I'll belt your nut in.

On catharsis

Sun, Dec. 6th, 2015 00:32
gominokouhai: (Default)

Last night's post was a touch on the melodramatic side, I'll grant you, but it matched how I was feeling. Gettin it all out onto paper, or pixel-stained post-millennial equivalent, helped a lot.

Wanna know how I know I'm over it? Good, because I'm about to tell you.

Cee Lo Green's seminal ‘Fuck You’ came on the radio while I was settin up the breakfast room for tomorrow. (Minster FM are actually pretty good. They were playin TMBG earlier on.) It was the bowdlerized radio version, natch, but I fixed that while dancin around the tables, arrangin cruet sets, and generally thinking that my life is pretty okay.

Such a deep and meaningful song, too.

And this time I didn't even need the Shatner to help.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Those of you who grew up in the 90s will know already that perky elfin teen-pop princess and sometime Ozzie soap star, Natalie Imbruglia, in a dark and terrifying departure from her usual glittery milieu, once witnessed the terrifying Frankensteinian reanimation of a previously deceased human being. It's well-known that her popular song Torn is a postmodernist retelling of T'Pau's China in your Hand from the perspective of an affected observer descending into schizophrenia.

You all know what I'm talking about, but because I'm nice I shall provide the vid for context. Behold.

In which there are several embedded media )

Splains why I always liked the theme to Ski Sunday so much, but: how the FUCK did I not already know that about Ski Sunday? My musical recognition skills were hitherto frankly superhuman, but lately I've noticed that they've begun to diminish with age, or possibly with lack of practice. I'm now all out of faith in my own abilities. This is how I feel: I'm cold and I'm ashamed, but thankfully still fully dressed.

gominokouhai: (Default)

I've been investigatin electropop lately, most of the current batch of which appears to be Canadian for some reason. I have no problem with this. At least it's not Canadian hip-hop. Movin on from the Canadian theme before I get myself into trouble, at this stage I feel I should mention CHVRCHES, who claim that their band name is pronounced churches, but I know better. They are from Glasgow and they are awesome. Particularly the lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, who is cute and elfin and adorable and basically so much the complete opposite of Shirley Manson that she goes round the back of the spectrum and becomes exactly as amazing. Chvrches spell their name with a V so that you can google for them, which you should do immediately if you've not already done so.

I have this 160GB mp3 player to fill up, and it's an actual mp3 player this time, so I can't cheat by includin the complete Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who and all the seasons of Sherlock I haven't watched yet. It's got to be actual music, and even for me there's only so many versions of the Glorious Ninth I need to carry around with me in my pocket. (A post on which is forthcomin; suffice to say I renounce all former allegiances to Karajan.) Somebody on the Twitters recommended the New Order album Power, Corruption & Lies, which I've not actually listened to. When it was released in 1983, my listenin habits were more or less evenly split between Prokoviev and Pinky & Perky. (I was precocious, but I was also three years old.) That I have not got round to it since then is an omission I knew I must rectify forthwith—but, in my defence, do any of you realize how many different versions there are of the Glorious Ninth?

Listenin then, at last, to Power, Corruption & Lies, three or four tracks reminded me of That Goddamn American Express Advert that I remember seeing once. And then, finally, it arrived in my ears as some part of me knew it would: Blue Monday, the biggest-selling 12" single of all time.

Of course I knew it already. And, because I was cursèd to grow up in the nineties, I knew it already chiefly because of this:

Even back then I was aware that this was possibly the worst advert of all time. I envisioned a cadre of corpulent besuited bastards, cocaine-crazy and caffeinated, masturbatorily manifesting moronic muppetry, thuswise: it's time for an EMERGENCY MARKETING MEETING!

INT. DAY. The MID-NINETIES. Opulent CORPORATE BOARDROOM

(PROPS DEPARTMENT: please make sure there is a RED STAPLER somewhere in shot)

TWAT #ONE is agitatedly pointin a STICK at a FLIPCHART that has some damn GRAPH on it.

TWAT #ONE
Okay, we're the wealthiest and most expensive credit card company on the planet, we own all the money in the world, and each of us has a secondary personal Learjet just so we can ship around the team of flunkies required to wax our primary Learjets, but but we need more. More... flirting?... sorry, that's a whole different advert that hasn't been made yet, with subtler humour than this scene. Anyway. I understand there's an entire new generation of suckers who have money. So: who knows anything about this "youth demographic"?

TWAT #TWO
Well, from what I've read in the newspapers, the Youth Demographic really do like their "music with a repetitive beat".

TWAT #ONE
Excellent. Let's have some of that. Anyone else?

TWAT #THREE
They like... skydiving?

TWAT #ONE
Brilliant. Throw that in there. What else?

TWAT #FOUR
I heard that they really like skin-tight black PVC trenchcoats.

TWAT #ONE
Who doesn't? You're fired. Next!

[VO] prolonged nasal SNORTING noise

TWAT #FIVE looks up from the table, takes a moment to orient himself

TWAT #FIVE
They like... geishas pulling stupid faces?

TWAT #ONE
Give that man some stock options.

~ FIN ~

I have always said that I hated the bloody Nineties: the decade of Westlife and the Vengaboys and Columbine and backwards jeans and Global Hypercolor and pastels and plaid and the Bosnian genocide and the Doctor Who Movie. But! (Even before you start: that was a preemptive but.) To be fair to the nineties, we also had Dark Season (so much pastel! and Jacqueline Pearce!) and Knightmare and Animaniacs and Way Out West and Portishead and we had both Ren and Stimpy simultaneously.

I've made my peace with the nineties.

After all, if we're considrin solely the restricted subset of credit card advertizin, then it could be so very, very much worse.

gominokouhai: (Inspector Fuckup)

My preferred serve at the moment is—no really, trust me on this—whisky and cream soda. Get yourself a nice smoky Islay blend (Black Bottle is good, plus the purchase of it pisses off Donald Trump; Islay Mist is far superior if you can find it), pack an old-fashioned glass with plenty of ice, and add cream soda. Since I am a posh New Town bastard these days, none of the supermarkets round here sell cream soda. I have to walk for twenty minutes before I can get to the grotty kind of shop that has a proper shelf full of Barr's products. It is worth the walk.

There is a commonly held belief that one shouldn't add mixers to single malts. This view is incorrect. You still shouldn't, ever, add mixer to single malts, unless you have a really good reason, which I often do. In defiance of this naive view, I have tried the same pour with Smokehead. Smokehead is a single malt (Scuttlebutt has it that it's a seven-year-old vatted Ardbeg with a dash of 10yo), but it still doesn't work as well in this serve as Islay Mist, which is a bloody fantastic drop for a blend, and cheap too, if you can find it.

Limited Edition, single hogshead, Ximenez finish cask strength 1996 Ben Riach: bloody marvellous. This is the bottle I was saving for when Maggie died, and now I finally have something for which I should thank the horrendous old bitch. Worth waiting for. Not a lot of point in my reviewing this, since most of you will never get to drink any. I have bottle no. 112 of 310, and this one's not coming round again. But nonetheless: bloody marvellous. Tart apple, hint of stewed raisins, and strong acetone on the nose; incredibly sticky mouthfeel, with a touch of burnt golden syrup on the palate; lighter notes and the sherry and oak all come out when you add a drop of water. The concentrated essence of apfelstrudel in a glass. Bloody beautiful. Thanks, Mags. Please feel free to die again any time you like.

Now, who's up for clubbing together to buy a cask of something nice, so that we may drink it when Gideon Osborne is finally deservingly assassinated?

I had a whisky recently that tasted exactly like Scarlett Johansson. I'm not kidding, that's what it tasted like. Or possibly it tasted like how she looks. Unfortunately I can't remember anything else about it, not even the whisky's name, or how it could possibly taste like that, or how I would know. Must have been a good one.

Many of you will know of my fondness for Lidl's finest Ben Bracken single malt. Lovely fresh vanilla cream notes, hint of lemon sherrrrbert, and it's about eighteen quid a bottle. Scuttlebutt has it that it's the last expression from the mothballed Tamnavulin distillery, but if that's true then I'm not sure where they're still getting the stuff from, since Tamnavulin reopened in 2007.

Vaguely related, today's find has been Aldi's finest, Glen Marnoch 12yo Highland single malt. There's no such place as Glen Marnoch and Internet is suspiciously silent on where this stuff came from. It's spent some time in a sherry cask, without question. Dry white pepper and old wizened cinnamon sticks on the nose. Packed full of fresh fruits—watermelon, guava, tropical fruit salad—citrus, and a warm welcoming sherry length to it. Nice long smoky finish with a little ethanol kick at the end. And the whole thing comes in at under twenty quid.

I'm starting to like Aldi. Their weinerschnitzel is good too.

gominokouhai: (Inspector Fuckup)

I promised I was going to make the chilli Vesper work and by Eris I've done it. On the third try. The first one didn't count, because I was using tequila. Tonight: success.

Did my research first, and turned up the useful factoid that you can buy quinine powder (although not, apparently, any more from the company linked from the Esquire article), which can be used to requinify Lillet back to a reasonable simulacrum of the 1953 recipe. This I have to try. But not today. Today is for habanero gin.

Yes, habaneros. I know I promised Scotch bonnets last time, but they're significantly harder to buy dried. Habaneros are basically exactly the same thing but from a different part of the world, and spelled differently. They have the same light zinginess and all the tropical fruit pineapple-mango-papaya freshness on the approach. They're also spicy as all fuck, so do not attempt the following unless you habitually gargle Tabasco for fun.

Turns out that the whole problem with buying them dried was completely pointless anyway, because doing it with dried chillies doesn't work. (That was the second failed attempt.) It worked perfectly well with the Arbol chillies in the tequila, but a Vesper requires more subtlety. Buy fresh. Hell, that means you could use Scotch bonnets after all. You can get them in Sainsburys now for cheap.

Utterly fuckin amazing habanero Vesper, I'm not even kidding this drink will eviscerate you with pleasure, you will literally BLEED to death AND YOU WILL THANK ME

  • Decant 300ml of gin into a glass container. Glass, because I dread even to speculate what this stuff would do to plastic.
    • I used Colonel Fox's gin, because the balance of flavours would go well with the fruitiness from the chillies, but frankly the chillies are powerful enough that you could use any old antifreeze as long as it's 40%ABV or more.
  • Chop two (fresh!) habaneros (or Scotch bonnets, like we discussed) into quarters and drop them in. Screw the bottle up tight.
  • Infuse for an hour. Give it a gentle shake half way through.
  • Since this drink requires preparation, you have adequate time to a) chill down your martini glass and b) ponder what it is you're about to do to yourself.
  • Seriously, NO MORE THAN AN HOUR. Strain out the chillies.
  • For the love of God, Mary, Jesus and all the little cherubim and seraphim, label the bottle with the gin in it. It still looks like water and when you wake up tomorrow you're going to be wanting some of that. You might also not be thinking particularly clearly. Preparation saves lives.
  • Showtime. Combine in a cocktail shaker:
    • two measures chillified gin;
    • one measure regular, unchillified, gin (no need to get crazy, now);
    • one measure vodka;
    • half a measure Lillet Blanc;
    • dash Peychauds bitters.
  • Top up with ice and shake like a motherfucker.
  • Double-strain into your suitably chilled martini glass.
  • Add a large, thin slice of lime peel. Lime, because it's got chilli in it; also, because I firmly believe that there is no single application of lemon that cannot be immediately, infinitely improved by the substitution of lime.[0]
  • Drink until you can't feel your nipples.
  • Don't even think about touching your dick until you've washed your hands twice.

Utterly fuckin amazing habanero Vesper, I'm not even kidding this drink will eviscerate you with pleasure, you will literally BLEED to death AND YOU WILL THANK ME

Yes, it's pink. It is so pink in fact that I have a new life goal: one day, I shall run a classy cocktail bar, and when a gaggle of irritating young women come in who've seen Sex And The City too many times[1] and think they're being sophisticated, I shall serve them one of these garnished with a cherry. It looks exactly like a Cosmo and then I shall laugh and laugh and laugh as they die. Remember, this cocktail started from Bond's recipe, to which I added chillies. This is a man's pink.

Also, it tastes bloody fantastic.

The photo above is photoshopped all to hell because I inadvertently shot it at ISO800; the choices were employing [personal profile] stormsearch for her 'shop expertise or making another one to take another picture of it. If I did that, I'd have to drink it, and there's only so much unadulterated joy that one can experience in a single evening.

While we were in 'shop, she clone-stamped out the rather obvious tandoori sauce stain that was visible on the counter. I wish cleaning the actual counter were that easy.

ObSafetyNote: chillies, so wear safety goggles. (Getting that wrong is a mistake you make exactly once in your life, and I have a permanent note on my medical record to say so.) Also, there is a mild-to-severe risk of botulism from using uncooked chillies: C. Botulinum lives in soil and reproduces anaerobically, so the gin won't kill it. I am still researching methods to alleviate this risk without boiling the chillies in vinegar, which works but makes them taste of vinegar. When I sort that out I'll let you know. Meantime, if I wake up paralyzed tomorrow morning, I want you all to know that it was totally worth it.

You may commence the statue-building now.

--

[0] The only possible exception to this otherwise infallible rule is the Cure For The Common Cold (Pat. Pending), and that's only because I haven't tried doing that with lime yet.

[1] i.e. once

gominokouhai: (Default)

As the demigoddesslike (and deipnosophistic) annajroberts draws to a close her epic deconstruction of a certain popular novel (which magnum opus begins here), it is time once again to turn to your regularly scheduled lamentations that E L James is, for some unfathomable reason, remotely successful.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
When you type SHA into Amazon's search engine the first predictive result is Shakespeare. The second is Shades of Grey.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
I suppose it could be worse. Could be the other way round, but talk about opposite ends of the talent spectrum.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
I wish Shakespeare HAD written Fifty Shades of Grey. It might have contained some actual dick jokes. And maybe they'd have killed themselves

pajh ‏‏[twitter.com profile] gominokouhai
@ajrobertswrites I foresee a project.

annajroberts [twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
@gominokouhai Ugh. Forget it. I've only just put one parody to bed and I only wrote that to get it off my chest.

pajh ‏‏[twitter.com profile] gominokouhai
@ajrobertswrites I'm just considrin the potential for proper rhetoric in the contract scene. I might do it if you won't.

annajroberts[twitter.com profile] ajrobertswrites
@gominokouhai Do it! I won't - I've had more than enough of those mewling, worthless assholes, with their sex contracts and crap BSDM.

pajh[twitter.com profile] gominokouhai
@ajrobertswrites I have four lines of stichomythia in iambic pentameter earworming me now. I may have to write this down to exorcize it.

You asked for it, you got it. (Okay, you didn't ask, but still. Nobody expressly forbade it.) I include the foregoing discussion as context, so you know who is to blame for the ensuing nonsense.

(A further disclaimer: no I've not read Fifty Shades of Grey. In fact I once had to discipline a staff member who I suspected of reading it. Turned out to be a false alarm. So having only read the parody version, and not having read Twilight either, I have no idea if this scene actually takes place, but I'm led to believe it does. So there.)

TEN AND TWOSCORE CHIAROSCUROES
Or, A Bardish Bawd for the Bored.

ACTUS SECUNDUS, Scaena Prima.

Chr. My lady, shall I tie thee up with ropes?
Ana. Yea, even with your cable ties withal.
Chr. O madam, wilt thou take it up the butt?
Ana. My lord, I never so had thought before.
Chr. Not e'en consider up the butt to take't?
Ana. Mayhap I shall consider it.
Chr.                           Dude, sweet.
Ana. But shall we speak not of our hearts'—
Chr.                           We'll not;
      For thou art but a paltry Mary Sue
      And I a ripoff vampire libertine.
      No more than this we are, no more;
      And poorly written are we both at that.
      No sooner would I tear off both my stones
      Than tarry long in such a perfect void.
      But use thee shall I for my carnal aims,
      For what this novel lacks in plot it shall
      Repay with dirty bits in purple prose.
      With organ perpendicular I'll search;[0]
      In pleasures horizontal shall I find
      My consolation for thy lack of mind.
        For surely there could be no woman dumber
        Than one who seeks to romance such a—
Ana.                           Bummer.
Chr. I seest what thou didst there.

There, now it's out of my brain. And possibly into yours... sorry about that. I started off with two couplets I had to get out of my head, and ended up with a full-blown sonnet: there is a lesson here, I'm sure, but I'm damned if I want to know what it is.

--

[0] Bad Quarto editions have probe here, but later editors bowdlerized it for the sake of their own sanity.

gominokouhai: (Default)

At the market on Sunday someone was cooking bolognese sauce at the pasta stall. Slow-cooked in red wine, she said, offering me a taste. I don't taste stuff at markets unless there's a vague chance I'm going to buy something, which is a bizarre new rule of etiquette that I seem to have adopted for myself, and I had no cash that day. But the smell was enough. I wanted bolognese.

I research these things, I'm thorough. Read a bunch of recipes and then deliberately ignored all of them. The vast majority of bolognese recipes, I am still astounded to note, don't specify red wine. Many of them insist on white wine, but I don't care what Dr B says, this is a bolognese and it's having red wine in it. To do else would be madness.

Celery is another one of those things. Apparently you need celery to make a soffrito. I've never eaten celery and I'm not about to start now. I did consider buying some today, but I'm not about to buy a gigantic pack of the stuff in order to add a tiny amount of it to a soffrito. Until celery is available in individual sticks I shall remain unabashedly free of its pernicious apiceatic influence.

So. Read a bunch of recipes, ignored all of them. Ended up with this:

May contain images too saucy for those of a delicate nature )

And lo, it was delicious.

(There was also whisky, which it's possible you may determine from the content of this post.)

Tomorrow: minced-meat pies. Rowr.

gominokouhai: (Khaaan!)

Okay, so when Chekov and Captain Terrell beam down to investigate the planet for suitability for the Genesis Project, they think the planet is Ceti Alpha VI. Then, when Khan explains that THIS IS CETI ALPHA FIVE, he says that Ceti Alpha VI asploded—secretly!—fourteen-and-a-half years ago. This is stated as the reason why Ceti Alpha V looks a lot less hospitable than it did during TOS, and it's presumably the reason why the crew of the Reliant weren't capable of accurately counting to six.

Planetary systems are numbered from the inside out. Ceti Alpha Prime would be the planet nearest the star, Ceti Alpha II would be the next one out, then Ceti Alpha III, IV, and Ceti Alpha V would be inside the orbit of Ceti Alpha VI. So when the Reliant warps in on its planetary survey mission, they count planets Ceti Alpha one two three four five six... and beam down to the wrong one.

If Ceti Alpha IV had asploded, they might be forgiven for getting the name of Ceti Alpha V wrong. There would still be the pressing issue of a suspicious-looking additional asteroid belt that wasn't on the charts. But when Ceti Alpha VI asploded, six months after we were left here, the only planets that change their name are Ceti Alphas VII and onwards. The only way for Chekov and Terrell to end up on Ceti Alpha V in a system that, unknown to them, has the sixth planet missing, is if they were actually trying to beam down to Ceti Alpha VII and they still fucked that up.

This has bugged me for thirty years, and no amount of Ricardo Montalban's acting can change basic planetary physics. No, Ricardo, stop trying to distract me with your chest. This isn't even basic planetary physics, it's basic planetary arithmetic.

Also, did the star chart not have a big X marked on it, with Here be incredibly dangerous genetically engineered criminals from the 20th century? Did Kirk not actually tell anyone when he established a colony of psychopaths in a habitable system at the end of `Space Seed'? Carol Marcus does mention, only fifteen years afterwards, the galactic problems of population and food supply. Did Kirk hide a bunch of incredibly powerful, genetically-engineered lunatics on a valuable planet, and then try to act surprised when an innocent survey vessel caught hell for it later?

I used to own The Nitpicker's Guide to Star Trek (unsurprisingly), and it went on at length about Kirk apparently forgetting to notify Starfleet about the nest of big-titted maniacs he left carelessly strewn about the galaxy. It didn't mention that Ceti Alpha V cannot be mistaken for Ceti Alpha VI. The guy who wrote the Nitpicker's Guide also failed to count accurately to six. This bugs the hell out of me.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Guys. GUYS. They built a robot in Stockholm and they put my voice into it.

You may recall the pajh-inna-box from a couple of years ago. Now my voice is starring at the Science Museum without inconveniently needing my body attached to it.

FurHat speaks with the CereProc William TTS voice. He uses built-in CereVoice vocal gestures to add extra realism (and sarcasm) to his speech. That's right. When they wanted to teach sarcasm to a cold, unfeeling machine, they knew exactly where to turn.

BBC News segment (skip to 02:18 for me). Also: oh ghod, they gave him hubris.

I like the fact that they gave him a hat. It seems to be a truth, universally acknowledged, that a voice this awesome needs to have a hat on top of it.

Well, Phase One of my grand plan to construct an invincible robot body for myself is complete. Now I just to need to work out what Phase Two should be.

Tenuously related: research for this article involved googling for fur hat robot, which turned up—natch—I Am Russian Robot, a rather nice little comedy skit.

Also, please note that guys is gender-neutral. American women with names like Chrystal and Ronnette use it all the time.

ETA

@marksutherland: @gominokouhai I just spent the last half hour pasting GladOS quotes into the box on the Cereproc homepage
@marksutherland: The canonical voice of sarcastic rouge AIs is now @gominokouhai : gominokouhai.dreamwidth.org/246773.html See: free.dom0.org/PajhOS.mp3

Glad to be of service.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Best music video ever, or BEST THING EVER? Steel your mind, prepare your soul, and gird your underpants for: A Complete History of the Soviet Union, Through the Eyes of a Humble Worker (Arranged to the Melody of Tetris).

The theme from Tetris, as we all know, is a pre-Revolutionary Russian folk song more properly referred to as Korobeiniki; or, more frequently, Korobeinikisay wha?you know, the Tetris themeoh. No doubt you'll recall the one-hit wonder Eurodance sensation Dr. Spin, who charted at number #6 in 1992 with a hip, fresh techno remix of Korobeiniki full of phat beats and suchlike. They called it Tetris. Just in case you don't recall, it's provided below.

I know you're going to dig this:

...I know I sometimes ask a great deal of my readers, but I'm really not expecting you to have watched that all the way through. If you did, have a gold star and please don't take it personally when I back away slowly.

Apparently, as I've just learned, Dr. Spin was a pseudonym for Andrew Lloyd Webber. Yes, that Andrew Lloyd Webber. Wikipedia wouldn't lie to me... right?

I thought that Andrew Lloyd Webber (Baron Lloyd-Webber since 1997; so, as we should properly refer to him, The Rt. Hon. the Lord Spin) had perpetrated quite enough evil upon the world already. Having said that, I really should expect no less from the man who married the woman who did I Lost My Heart To a Starship Trooper.

gominokouhai: (Default)

A post about the new Doctor Who is coming, I promise. In the meantime I'd like to talk about some old Doctor Who. And the Beach Boys. And the Archbishop of Canterbury. But mostly I'll be focusing on Doctor Who. All will become clear. I hope.

Some time ago a good friend left me a copy of some music by a band known as The Pixies, a Boston-based alt-rock ensemble, to which I've only just now got around to listening. They sound like this. They produced this in the distant past year 1990:

Listen ye and be amazed. (It's quite good.) Specif, listen and note ye how similar it is to this, of which it is a direct cover version:
In which there are further embedded media )

Bear with me and try, if you can, to ignore the brass line from All the Strange, Strange Creatures. The bassline is identical. I only noticed when Murray provided a version without the brass line in it during the first episode of Season 5. It's right after Eleven tells Patrick Moore to pay attention, when Rory and Amy are driving the Mini to the Hospital (00:40:15). I once wrote fanmail to Murray Gold and asked him if this was an unconscious ripoff or a deliberate homage. I'm beginning to realise why he never replied.

I understand that there are eight notes and that, as a result, there are a finite number of permutations to which one can subject those eight notes. But I must be forgiven if I am occasionally suspicious.

While we're on the subject of cultural homages—because I'm sure that's what these are—let's just observe that Paradise Towers was a total ripoff of J. G. Ballard's High-Rise. I'm not judging. I'm just saying.

Apparently this weekend was the anniversary of some fictional (and highly unlikely) thing that didn't happen to a bloke who probably never existed, involving a story during which he was crucified and then entombed in a chocolate egg from which he escaped on the third day, or something. Apparently on these occasions the Archbishop of Canterbury is obliged to give a speech of some kind. Apparently, according to what I can tell from BBC news (about 01:07 in), the Archbish makes reference to popular culture.

It's probably unseemly to involuntarily shout woo! from the congregation while the Archbish is giving his address. So it's probably a good thing that I was only watching the BBC stream. Nonetheless it's good to know that the cultural information flow goes both ways.

Frankly, we've always known that Rowan Williams was a leftie Who-fancying nerd. His problem is that, as chief spokesperson for a monolithic, regressive, medieval, omnipervasive, misogynistic, homophobic, repressive, anachronistic, capricious, conservative, disingenuous, perfidious organization, he's never been allowed to say so.

Since at least the 1970s, the Doctor has been swanning out of police boxen and teaching people that they were actually lefties all along. It's good to know that he's managed it with the Archbish. of Cantab. as well. As always: the Doctor shows the way.

gominokouhai: (Default)

Recently, there's been growing evidence to suggest that Edward II was not killed, by red-hot poker or otherwise, in 1327. Logically, then, he must still be walking around somewhere. Or not. That would be silly. But the concept raises some serious questions.

Crucial to Ian Mortimer's argument is the account of William le Galeys, ‘William the Welshman’, a hermit living in Lombardy, who turned up on Edward III's doorstep one day in 1338 and said: hi son, how's it going?, or at least something very similar in French. At that time, pretenders to the throne were hung, drawn, quartered, clubbed, struck, lifted, lowered, hurled, stretched, drowned, dragged, drugged, bashed, bonked, thudded, tweaked, walloped, and then... splugged on a gillikin spike. Instead of this, William le Galeys was entertained for several weeks at royal expense, and then went back to being a hermit in Lombardy. Gillikin spike makers were reported to be outraged. The obvious inference is that William le Galeys was in fact the deposed Edward II, travelling under an assumed name.

There is, as I say, a serious point arising here that many medieval scholars have missed, and I'm sure I'll get to it in the next paragraph or two.

A man officially declared dead, given a new identity, who roams the earth doing good works. (Becoming a holy man is how one did good works in the fourteenth century: they hadn't invented rationalism yet.) Logically, Edward II is Michael Knight. It remains to be seen whether Edward II had a sarcastic talking car, but given the lack of evidence to suggest that he didn't, we're forced to assume that he did.

Of course, given the time period, it was probably a talking horse. Logically, therefore, Knight Rider and Mr. Ed are the same show.

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