Bill P. Godfrey et al


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Proposal to increase efficiency in the names of the states of the USA.

While talking with Thia yesterday, she mentioned a news story in a state of the USA, but couldn't remember the name, just that it began with an I.

Idaho, Illinois, Indiana or Iowa? Given there are 26 letters and 50 states, there's really no need for more than two states to begin with any given letter. There are four I states, but no Z states.

The three "New" states of New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York should drop the "New" part of thier name, as they have been around long enough. (Not New Mexico, as there are already eight M states and we don't need a ninth.)

In recognition, Hampshire, Jersey and York should become 'Old Hampshire', 'Old Jersey' and 'Old York'. If these names are not appealing, 'Classic' or 'Original' may be considered instead.

Even with these changes are still too many N states. Two of these are North Dakota and North Carolina. To resolve this, redraw the boundary between the Dakotas and the Carolinas, creating 'East' and 'West' states of each.

With no S states, Idaho and Illinois can become 'Sidaho' and 'Sillinois'.

As for the eight M states, how about Yaine, Yaryland, Zassachusetts, Zichigan, Xinnesota, Xississippi, Quissouri and Quontana.

Perfect!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Animated short of the week. (Zoomquilt)

This drawing wouldn't zoom if you put four hundren volts through it.
And if you are not feeling ill yet...

And in case you missed it, Neil is trying to get in on the act.

Sue D'oh Koo

I'm Bill, and I'm a sudoku addict.
(Hi Bill)


The rules are that the digits 1 to 9 must appear without repetition each row, column and 3x3 box. Its a logic puzzle. If you find yourself adding these numbers together, you are not doing it right.

Here's how it's done. Observe the far right hand column. It has no number 2. Where could it go? It can't go anywhere in the top two 3x3 boxes, because they both have a number 2 already. There's only one vacant spot left, so write in a 2 there.

The same method can be used to find the 7 on the same column. (You'll need to look at the full game above. You couldn't tell from just this snippet to the right.) With that 7 in place, there is only one spot left for the 4 to go in that column. As the puzzle goes on, the introduction of new numbers allow you to find more.

This puzzle is Griffiths Jones's Daily Sudoku for the 24th of May 2005. I'm also fond of the Independent's puzzles, especially their 16x16 puzzle, using all ten 0-9 digits and the letters A-F.

My life has been taken over by these pointless puzzles. Please help. And just say no.

(Wasn't this a much nicer article that nasty mean-spirited "Ha ha" one.)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

What a nice man!

It seems that Abu Musab Zarqawi has had a serious injury.
Ha ha!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Whatever happened to Vic and Bob?

Or a very brief review of their ITV show "Monkey Trousers"

While I am a fan of the surreal worlds that Vic [Reeves] and Bob [Mortimer] I'm not so sure about their "new" show on ITV "Monkey Trousers"... A couple of the characters, I liked [Bob's Estate agent for one, the Geordies in space for two] but most of it failed to raise a titter. Of course, they also have the comedy-drama "Catterick" [now showing on BBC2] which looks wierdly interesting, but I've only managed to watch 5 minutes of it so far and the jury is still out on it.

So what has happened? Have Vic and Bob lost "that which makes them funny" or is my mind over-run with humour that it takes something special to make me laugh ?

Any enlighenment for me?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Shuffle music [2]

Following Bill's exposure [last month] of the random ordering of music situated within his music player, I decided to follow suit...

01 REM - Imitation of life
02 They Might be Giants - I can Hear you
03 Carfax - Born Yesterday
04 Natalie Imbruglia - Big Mistake
05 Pet Shop Boys - What have I done to deserve this
06 Tori Amos - Crucify
07 General Khaki - Beer is an energy drink
08 Rolf Harris - Bohemian Rhapsody
09 Paul Weller - Sunflower
10 Talking heads - wild wild life
11 Garbage - Queer
12 Rolling Stones - Happy
13 David Devant and his spirit wife - My Magic Life / David's coming back.
14 David Bowie - Fame
15 Elvis Costello and the Attractions - High Fidelity
16 The Jam - That's entertainment
17 Silvery - 1994
18 Paul Simon - Me and Julio down by the schoolyard
19 Queen - Crazy little thing called love
20 Veltd - Sleep

Not Bill's animation of the week...

but another animation... um... for this week...

The Whalevision song contest

Animated short of the week. (Shii's Song)

(I keep forgetting to do this. Sorry everyone.)

Either a sad song or a life affirming tale, depending on you are feeling at the time.So, was that a sad or happy ending? Vote now!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I can (photograph) a rainbow

Spotted during a lazy rainy afternoon.
The rainbow lasted about ten minutes, then it started raining again.

Review: Cinema

Yesterday, I went to watch the film version of The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy at my local cinema. Last time I went to the cinema was to watch The Matrix. I recall uncomfortable seats and a noisy audience. Ever since, I'd wait for the DVD rental instead.

This film was a bit different, I wanted to watch it. What the hey, I'll give the local cinema a try.

The "local" cinema was about 12 miles away, with 2 miles of unexpected road works. I arrived about 10 minutes late, but I had expected adverts so no problem. Indeed, after queuing for five minutes for my ticket (£6) they were showing an advert for the new Star Wars film when I found my seat. Even though I arrived late, I was still faced with around ten minutes of adverts with no fast forward button or even a mute button!

This time, the audience was rather sparse, about 30 people. No screaming babies. It was probably a sheer lucky gamble to turn up to this showing.

As the studio's spinning logos appeared, a thought went through my mind. "I need to go use the bathroom". In the rush to get in, I had neglected this detail. The film started with a sequence of dolphins swimming and splashing around and no pause button.

Some films (the Terminators, 2001) lend themselves to the big-screen cinema treatment. This film would work just as well on DVD at home. For all the travelling and having no control over the proceedings, it would have to be exceptional. Or maybe I'm just a control freak.

Oh yeah, the film itself. It was okay.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Nod To The Gazillions In Line Tonight

This is a bit of Star Wars for those of us not standing in line tonight to see the new one. It will, in my opinion, amuse fans as well as those who just don't give a damn. The site encouraged people to create their own Star Wars artwork in photoshop. There are some that will make you laugh out loud like the Beverly Hillbillies or Gary Coleman substituted for Star Wars characters. Some of my favorites put Star Wars characters in other film posters or scenes (like Under the Tuscan Sun).

Take a look. Please keep in mind I haven't looked at anything else on the site nor have I followed any links posted there. I followed a link to the site for the artwork mentioned above. (I'll probably wander a bit more on the site later.) Explore at your own risk.
Artwork
Yes, I do work in disclaimer-frenzied corporate America. The need to disclaim is now embedded into my noggin. Woohoo.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"But there's no danger...

...it's a professional career."
Oliver's Army, © Elvis Costello and the attractions


Goodness me. Work, work, work. You'd think I did nothing else if I didn't spend so much time doing all those other things I do. Well. It explains my rather quiet spell these past couple of weeks [although a couple of days off also helps explain it, I think...]

I work in the computing department of a University, I deal with web things, video, a big hot pot of technological revelations. However, the past week I've been working on an application that harks back to the dark ages of computing with unfriendly screens, accessable by the secret "arcane codes" and "rituals" that are known by all too few.

I did try dancing naked in front of the screen but it didn't seem to help at all.

The manual didn't help [much] either "do this, this and then this" .. hmm... how come I get "No Job submission" coming up? Whatever can it mean? [one phone call later] oh, so I have to set up all this stuff in these 3 screens first... why doesn't it say that? Okay, let's try. Hmm. That's a strange error, "Unknown error occured" wonder what caused that..

[many attempts later] Let's try it on the live data instead. Oh, the live data works. Right, lets put it in this last screen and we can put the bugger to bed. What? 2 parameters entered, 3 expected? WTF does that mean? It's a screen. There are things in every field. [jumps up and down and finds himself balding but with worryingly hairy hands. oh. ]

Tries to find someone who knows something. Ah. They're not here. Hmm. Calls support. Oh. Oh. Right, yes. Yes. Okay. No probs, I'll try that. [logs onto the unix machine hosting the system]... let's see, go to the applications' home directory. Permission denied. What? [foul language] Maybe I'm on the wrong box. [fails to access the other unix systems] hmm. Maybe they just forgot to give me access. [checks with them] oh. no, no. They gave me everything I'm entitled to. Which means I have a useless account on a system I have no reason to use. Harumph! The only person who has access is the person who's away now. Bugger.

[waits a day, speaks to the person] oh. They didn't create directories - that makes sense. [It was in the service pack documentation support said.. hmmm... eyes dba suspiciously ] Hmm. Still doesn't work. [checks back with the only person who can do anything, notices that there is an additional directory, tries it, it works. Runs around cheering] Informs department it works.

Gets an email back "now what?" .

"Now what?" I thinks, surely that's it? The documentation says "to do this, do this, this and this and everything is a-ok". Hmm.

Re-reads documentation. Glues hair back on head in anticipation of it being pulled out again. Phones support.

Ah. We need either a 3rd party application or one of their additional programs. Additional software? The manual doesn't say anything about additional software! [re-reads manual] It doesn't! Contacts department "do we have any 3rd party software?" [no] contacts the one person who knows anything "did we install this program?" [no] okay... no worries.

[phones support] ah, yes, you want this download. You are patched to service pack 7? [checks] Yes [applied about 2 weeks ago]. You have applied the suplimentary patches [lists off 14 patch ID numbers] um... I don't know. They have to be applied in that precise order you know. Bugger.

Speaks to man who knows.
Speaks to support - for the software to work we need only the first 3 patches - and for once it's going my way. They have been applied! [runs around the office cheering... calms down after noticing everyone looking at me and stops hi-fiving imaginary people] downloads [actually, the "man who can" downloads] the additional client software. Which is password protected. Bugger.

And we leave the story now with the software downloaded, a password received, instructions looked at and everything all set to go... And this had better be the last stage of the whole process.

My suspect my suspicions of the dba not creating directories and missing something in the documentation I suspect are unfounded. If the company can tell you how to do something and not make reference to the vital fact that you need additional software, then something minor like "mkdir import export" ... I think you know what I'm saying.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Animated short of the week. (Annoying)

One for insomniacs everywhere!
And as a bonus, a couple of toons from the creator of Penguin Calls.Three for the price of one...
I prefer the "shoe" version myself, but then my mind is deranged.

Globalisation

We have a globalised economy. Just like how companies can contract offshore, we can equally buy our goods and services from any source around
the world.Thanks to the globalised economy, charging different prices for the same product in different countries has come to an end. Television producers no longer sell just "USA rights" and "UK rights" to thier shows any more.

Yes, there will be some short term loss as manufacturing work goes east, but because of the globalised economy, the cost of living between the eastern world and the western world will come closer and meet, making life better for all of us.

There is hope...

Kerry Lofy, a straight male teenage athlete, takes his gay friend to a school prom. Its controversial because he wore a dress.

The bit about a gay teenager dating another guy, that's fine.

There is hope for this world.

I'm more worried by the fact he has the same first name as one of my sisters.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Digi-camera madness

Oh wow! My digi-camera can see infra-red light. Groovy man!

(The only way I could get a good picture was to turn the flash off, which is why the picture is fuzzy.)

Breeder pleasing

Back when I wrote my review of the candidates in the recent general election I said, amoungst other things...
Most of all, they seem obsessed with "Hard working families". I'm a single guy who doesn't want any children. Ever. Now my taxes are paying for family tax credits and children's trust funds. Enough with the breeder-pleasing!
As you may have guessed, this sort of thing is a bit of a sore point for me.

<rant>
If a male collegue had a child, he would get two weeks off, in addition to the usual holiday allocation. Now, I'm not about to begrudge new parents a couple of weeks, but where's my extra two weeks?

If that collegue was a woman, she would have got 26 weeks off, all that time on 90% pay. Indeed, I know a few women who have found themselves less employable around the age of 30.

A few years ago, the British government introduced the child trust fund. I think its a reasonable idea, allowing children to have a tax-free savings account, to be released to that child when they turn 18. The parents can't dip into it and all income from capital gains and dividends are tax free. Children can't have a tax-free ISA account, but they can have this instead.

And yet, the government will pay £250 (or £500) of tax money into that fund on birth and more when the child is 7. Gaaaaah!
</rant>

Friday, May 13, 2005

Ooooh Friday the thirteenth...

Any paraskevidekatriaphobiacs out there?

I'm hoping that my reverse luck kicks in and the thing I'm working on starts working today :-) [previous Friday the 13ths have seen me getting a job, and other good things that I forget]

Does anyone know where I can get hard liquorish sticks [about 5inches long,1/4" thick, would have the company name embossed in a slightly flattened bit near the end, tastes good!] like the ones I used to pick up from the newsagents near my school when I was a lad? I've a bit of a hankering for some.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Chilli! (Mk 2)

Add some of this stuff to my recipe.

Owie!

Animated short of the week. (Space Oddity)

Just in case the papers want to know, I mainly wear plain coloured XXL sized T-shirts from BHS.
Sorry it took so long this week. I forgot.

UPDATE: New link. Animator's site moved.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Bill has voted for you, you and you and you.

As predicted, the incumbent Timothy Boswell, of the Conservative party, won the general election in my area. Dispite my "nice things" said about Andrew Hammond, his share of the vote went down by 4.9% from his predecessor Labour party candidate in 2001. (Hope it wasn't a curse.)

So, my area has become a bit less marginal. So next time around, the powers that be will be paying even less attention to me. If only I could move to a marginal area without actually having to move.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Wasp in the bowl

... what'll I do? Skip to the loo my darling!

Well that tedious intro leads me to the greatest mystery of our time... the dead wasp found floating in my toilet this morning. Was it the insect maffia sending me a "message" for my reckless murder of thousands of ants ? Should I have really paid attention to those additives in that can of beans I ate? Was it part of a scuba diving team that got lost?

I think it's most likely it came in through one of the overflow pipes and drowned...
but I like the idea of an "insect maffia" :-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"What's the point of being cool if you can't wear a sombrero?"

There's a lot of stuff you can't take on an aeroplane. Guns, knives, scissors, toys, wooden animal carvings, furry handcuffs, a purple sombrero.

Monday, May 02, 2005

"All we are...

... is dust in the wind." -- Eric Benet.

Animated short of the week. (Elements)

Earth, air, fire and water. A tune for chemists everywhere.
This past week was both the slowest, with only three articles since the last animation, and the busiest, with so many people having an urge to name the cat. I also got the attention of the British political establishment. Woo hoo!