The Blog The PhotoBlog The Current Robcam Image My Ever-Expanding Music Collection My Bookshelf NOT YET READY The basic info about me which you might need. She hates her job, but she won't leave. Instead she'll moan. Genius. Possibly crazy, but thankfully as inept financially as myself. My favourite blogging student lesbian. Not that there are loads. Just another student, raking his way through the daily pile of crap. Life in Canada. It's scarily poignant at times. Not preaching, more informing. With laughs, beer and tall tales. London's resident party animal and freebie fanatic. Can you feel the sleaziness? Yet another one of us blogging student types. Except he's funny. Sort of... Glorious b+w white photos of London and other places. Simply the most passionate blogger around. His days must be full to bursting with things to do just to put on the blog. A Scottish mother who loves the pipes. Read into that what you will. A great little blog by an American college girl. She even plays a British sport... Yet another of us blogging students. Yes, we really are that lazy. A Swedish (I think) guy who includes me in his 'Blogs As Literature' section. i.e. possibly mad. A London blogger who is fascinated by the overall concept of blogging. He's written a few papers on the subject too. One if the most dedicated blogs, a Londoner who gets up to fifty times as much stuff as I ever do. A British media student / graduate who loves his music. And his boozing. A disgruntled teacher, buried somewhere in Europe. A Canadian mother who seems to like my blog. The so-called Expert Analysis of this very blog, as spoofed by one of my ex-housemates. An American girl who has a thing for British guys. Fair play. An Aussie guy who used to be on a messageboard I was on a while back. The single greatest source of news the web has ever seen. And it's British! My source of Arsenal-related news and gossip. Also has fantastic forums. Where I get my mp3s. Oh-so-cheap and oh-so-easy to use. Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. A US-based media watchdog. Where I get all of my torrenty goodness. Good forums for newbies too. Gathers together hundreds of news sources from across the web, and is the best place for instant news. An English political and media commentary site, with some brilliant articles on all manner of topics. Groups together all of the left-leaning opinion and editorial pieces from English-language newspapers across the world. Previous Blog List All Blogs A Random Blog Next Blog

Saturday, December 27

A Christmas Carol

My Mum's name is Carol, so it's a title that is slightly humourous on many levels. OK, so it's vaguely funny on just one level, and only because I just told you, but still...

Anyway, this is the story of my Christmas. I don't expect it to be in quite the same league as Dickens' epic tale, but it should be at least half-decent.

I shall begin with the tale of Christmas Eve. It wasn't a particularly exciting day, and was in fact quite dreary. Nothing of any note happened during the day itself, except for me finally getting round to wrapping my presents to my family. I have to say that although I always leave that kind of thing until the very last minute, I am fucking good at wrapping presents. I always make an effort to get them looking as nice as possible, and I tend to spend a fair bit of time attaching ribbons and all that kind of crap. This year I had to wrap this huge candle for my parents, and it looked the dog's by the time I finished it. It was in a big cardboard tube (think like a loo roll, but one designed for a hippo), and I wrapped it like you do a wine bottle, with the kind of flourish at the neck. You know what I mean. I put loads and loads of ribbons in the neck, and it looked brilliant. I swear my Mum had a tear in her eye when I eventually brought it down...

My Granddad came over later that day for a meal. Nothing too major, just a big salad-type-thing. I make a kick-ass salad, so I was in charge of getting all that sorted, as if I didn't have enough to do already, what with sitting on my ass and watching TV. How can I be expected to fit in 8 hours of TV every day as well as doing jobs around the house? I mean, really!

The meal was really good, but I got so offended by my Mum and her Dad when they started talking on various subjects. They are so racist and nonchalant about it that I get offended. I'm going to explore that in another post a little later, but suffice it to say that they shock and apall me. The other thing that annoyed me about my Mum was how she was so hypocritical about my generation. Somehow thr subject got onto mobile phones, and I mentioned that I was looking at a new handset for when my contract is up for renewal. It's really cool, with a camera and flash on it. She went off on one, saying about how my generation is so materialistic and should just stick with a basic phone that makes calls and does text messages. However, when I pointed out to her that by that logic she didn't actually need the new car that she had recently got, and should have stuck with her old one, that was completely different. Of course, I see the difference... she is just so annoying!!!

I managed to escape to the pub with a couple of mates for the rest of the evening, which was a godsend. Played a few games of pool, shot the shit, and generally had a good time. We also finally made our concrete plans for New Year's Eve, in that we are going to our local pub to get blindingly drunk, rather than going all the way to Cardiff to get blindingly drunk. It'll be cheaper too, seeing as the pub's running a £30-all-you-can-drink deal. It was wicked there last year, and should be good this time too.

Moving on to Christmas Day itself now, I managed to haul my ass out of bed around 9.30, and drag myself downstairs to the living room and to the presents. My sister had just got up as well, so we were both still half-asleep. I guess the magic of Christmas has been lost on the pair of us, and has been replaced by the magic of lie-ins. Who gets up before 10 in the morning?! Not me.

I got a load of cool presents, including a big pile of clothes. I guess buying for a twenty year-old guy is pretty difficult, because I mostly got clothes and gift vouchers. Never mind, I'm happy with that result. Oh, and I also got the Hollyoaks calendar. Fucking Result!!! I like the Hollyoaks girls, they are pretty. And in bikinis.

My family was pleased with my presents, at least as far as I could tell, so that was all good. Once we'd finally finished all of the festivities and unwrapping business, we started to get sorted for going to my Auntie's house. It's a tradition that we go to her house for Christmas dinner and the whole day, and this Christmas we were going to sleep the night too.

Again, a pretty cool day of it, accompanied by the now traditional groaning plates of dinner. i have to say that I really, really enjoy having an enormous dinner on Christmas Day. It just feels right. All the trimmings, and a pile of food on your plate is definitely the way to go on Christmas Day. And any other day, come to think of it.

I ended up on the living room floor that night, on an airbed and in a sleeping bag. I didn't sleep brilliantly, because of their stupid ticking clock. I fucking hate ticking clocks, and I swear that I'm never ever having one in my house (when I finally get one...). They just irritate me so much, all repetitive and annoying. Stupid bastard ticking clocks.

And that was pretty much it. I can't be arsed to write about Boxing day, because that was even more boring than the previous two days. Hope you all had a great Christmas too, and that Santa brought you everything you wanted / deserved.

Geez, this turned into a well boring post. Meh.

Merry Christmas!!!

A slightly belated Merry Christmas message, I know, but I haven't been able to get anywhere near a computer without being moaned at in the past few days. Apparently, Christmas in our house is a time when I shouldn't be on the computer. Uhhh, how about not?

Anyway, I've finally got a bit of inspiration back for some posts, so I might just sit here for an hour or so now, just typing and writing stuff. Read it if you've got the time and inclination to do so...

Tuesday, December 23

I have no inspiration for writing today. No idea when it will return. So, I shall write no more today. Nothing more. Nothing more at all. Except this. There, I'm done. Completely and utterly done. That's the last of it. Finito.

Monday, December 22

Dammit, Make Up Your Own Title

Why? Because I have no idea where this post is going to go, and I'm too lazy to write one at the end...

I went (got taken, because I don't have a car at the moment...) to the cinema today to go see Return Of The King. It wasn't bad, pretty good in places, I guess.

Yeah fucking right. It was absolutely, jaw-droppingly, überfantastically, 100%-ly, insert-more-superlatives-here-ly amazing. But really long.

Three and a half hours sat on my ass watching it. A fucking great way to spend an afternoon, if you ask me. Stuffed on popcorn and crispy M&Ms, all washed down with an enormous coke. No wonder I had to leg it to the loo about 2 hours into it.

It was a brilliant film though, especially considering I haven't read the books yet, so it was all new to me. The fight scenes were epic, and you could see just how much strife and chaos Frodo was going through as he approached Mount Doom and I'm sounding like such a geek, aren't I? Oh well, it's not often I get to wax lyrical like this.

Cinematographically (great word) speaking, it was a masterpiece. My favourite camera shot was when the soldiers of Rohan are leaving their city, and you see this huge column of riders meandering across the plain away from the city gate. It looks like over 5,000 horses and riders creating a huge snake, twisting around and filling up the screen. There's also a great aerial shot a little later when the Riders of Rohan (again...) leave their camp and head for the big city (don't ask me the name, I'm not that much of a geek). Various columns of riders come together to form this one enormous group, all at a gallop. It looks fantastic, and is awe-inspiring.

Anyway, that's about all of my Monday. Literally, that's about it, except for a nice little Italian meal afterwards and watching football on the TV since I got home. I tell you all (all, erm, 3 of you) that I lead an exciting life. I'm even going for a haircut tomorrow. That's the highlight, as far as I'm concerned. Joy.

Sunday, December 21

Bow Down, Mere Mortals

Can you go to the pub with £20, drink 5 pints and return home with £36? I can. Therefore I am great, and you are not.

Basically, Mace and Garby told me about watching the football at the pub this afternoon, so I went down there with them. Took just £20 with me, because my finances are. erm, in a mess. Anyway, there was a load of guys who Mace and Garby play football with there, and we ended up sat around with them. The issue of first goalscorer, and it was quids in for that. The first goalscorer was someone who none of us had money on, so the kitty rolled over. Then this other guy won that after Van Nistelrooy scored. So, we decided to bet on the next goalscorer, and also on the full-time score.

Who won both of those? That would be me. I'm fucking great. And with slightly more fluid finances than before.

In other news, I'm off to (finally) see Return Of The King tomorrow. I can't fucking wait for that, especially as I haven't read the books yet, so I don't know what's going to happen. [mental note: add to (ever-expanding) reading list] Me and my sister sat through Fellowship this evening on Sky, and I've seen Two Towers loads of times since September, so I reckon I'm fully prepped for seeing it. My Mum's off to wander round the shops while me and my sister watch the film (I don't have a car right now, so she's driving). Good luck to her in killing 4+ hours!

Don't forget, I'm a very boring person.

There Are Things That Amuse Even Me

The Blogdex usually finds them for me.

Today's (tonight's?) offering is the following link. It takes you to a bill currently before US Congress outlawing the use of certain words in media broadcasting. Scroll to the bottom for the list. It makes me chuckle to think how these old fuddy-duddies must have debated which words were worse than others. I want to see the full list where they were rated...

And good news, for once, concerning file-swapping and p2p. It seems that the recent spate of lawsuits by the RIAA against the biggest sharers of mp3s have been declared unconstitutional in the States. Hurrah! Now it seems that us "leftie wannabe anti-globalists" (go check the Politics forum at RAGE) are being viewed as in the right.

However, on a closer inspection of the case (i.e actually reading it before posting the wonderful news), the court in question expressly distances itself from making a judgment based on the argument by Verizon, an ISP in the US that was being sued by the RIAA, that the RIAA's lawsuits are unconstitutional. From what I can gather, the RIAA successfully sued Verizon at first instance in order to force Verizon to release the details of two of its subscribers whom the RIAA intended to sue for various copyright infringements.

One of Verizon's grounds for appeal was that the law in question (some random sub-clause of a random ISP-based statute) was unconstitutional because it forced them to reveal the identity of these subscribers. This was because it lacks "sufficient safeguards to protect an internet user’s ability to speak and to associate anonymously." Apparently this is in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. I'm no expert on the Constitution, but I believe that the First Amendment is the right to privacy or something similar. Someone please correct me on that point.

Anyway, there is a lot of fuss, from what I've read this evening, that the RIAA's lawsuits have been declared unconstitutional. This is simply not the case. Read the actual words of the judgment, and you will see that this point was not the ratio decidendi (deciding factor) of the case. Yet again, the media is blowing a case out of proportion, and not fully reporting it. Stupid media. Stupid bloggers for believing it.

Am I anal? When it comes to law, and it comes to file-sharing, yes, yes I am. And proud of it.

And boring too, don't forget that.
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