i saw saws

You have got to see these folks! The Singing Saw Shadow Show were amazing the other night; wild raucous lo-fi that had me on the edge of my seat. I must get the old saw out and rosin the bow.

The support were interesting. Pyramid Culture, while better than Better Than Everyone, are okay if you want to learn about the perils of artificial sweeteners, face transplants and parasitic foetal twins. Faun Fables produced their art-rock pantomime The Transit Rider; fun, and with a fab rendition of The House Carpenter, too.

But go and see this Singing Saw Shadow Show if and when you can. They will blow you away.

best beat neat nest

Beware, nerdiness follows: I generally like my BlackBerry 7130e, but its multiple letters per key can sometimes give the wrong result. Using word frequency lists from the British National Corpus, sqlite, and way too much programming time, I determined that the key sequence with the most possible word results (81?2) produces best, beat, neat or nest. The device itself suggests also brat and bray, so I should try a longer word list — in my copious free time, of course.
The longest (common words in the corpus) that have the same key sequence are employers and employees, which might briefly cause hilarity in an HR or legal context.

… like the card game

There was one thing I hated about Rumo, and that was finishing it. Walter Moers creates such a complex — yet never serious — fantasy world that leaving it is always hard.

I like the way he’s not afraid to revisit characters from The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear. Most fantasy authors are slavish in keeping their characters’ lives consistent across the volumes. Since Bluebear was the most celebrated liar in Atlantis, what do you expect?

dino out

Aargh, I hate finishing an Eric Garcia Rex book. I don’t get lost in too many books, but Eric’s ones do that for me. I’d finished Hot & Sweaty Rex, then re-read Anonymous Rex ‘cos I couldn’t get enough of that dino-noir (dinoir?)

Garcia’s books are clearly works of fiction. I mean, to say that 5% of the population are dinosaurs in heavy disguise — the real number’s much higher

I’m going in a field …

… To survey.

It’s lovely weather for it. Just a few weeks ago, it was bitter up here.

Strange coincidence: one of the surveyors, Joy, knows our friends the Bowyers.

Free the Laserjet 4!

I love the HP LaserJet 4+. Built like a tank, good print quality, and now available used/refurb for pennies. Sure, they weight about as much as a Sherman, and suck power like there was no tomorrow, but one of my 4+s has nearly a million on the page count, yet prints crisp and clean.

Last weekend I scored a 4+ with built in duplexer from eBay for very little. It didn’t want to print at first (giving a cryptic 13 PAPER JAM error), but removing the rather beat-up full-ream paper tray fixed that. It may need a new cartridge (at almost twice what I paid for the printer), but I’m happy.

Wonder if I can direct-connect one of them to the ethernet port on Catherine’s eMac? I know my router won’t talk AppleTalk, so we can’t network just one printer.

kotthu roti night in Canada!

Yeah! Amma is back open after the fire. Had my first kotthu roti in months, and it’s as great as it ever was. The place was jumping, and the Sri Lankan bachelors (reluctant) were looking forward to their first square meal this year.

Poondy Bread is back, too, so the neighbourhood smells just like it used to; bread and curry, mixed in with occasional candy (from the Cadbury plant) and biscuits (merci, Peak Freans).

shaving on the go

Neat eBay find; an unused Gillette Travel razor:

Gillette Travel Razor

It is absolutely tiny, and it looks as if it has never been opened, let alone used. The blades are still in their cellophane wrapping, and the razor has its cardboard “blade” in place. I wonder how old it is?
The case doesn’t look very robust (it’s that cardboard leatherette that falls apart at the slightest use) but I’ll be able to shave in style anywhere in the world.

first day new job

I had a good day. There was a lot of administrivia, setting up e-mail accounts, form filling, and learning about the network, but that’s all once off. The afternoon was mostly spent fighting with my new BlackBerry (a 7130e, you nerds), which works as a very nice phone, but the e-mail isn’t set up.

My cube has a view, and the transit is great. I’m happy.

ex-GG at the movies

We saw Brokeback Mountain at the Cumberland this evening, and who should sit next to us but former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson and her posse.

I think she wanted our seats, as Catherine had got there early, and nabbed excellent ones; centre-row, 1/3 back.