Monday, October 23, 2017

Here's a question

Does anybody out there remember when Thundercats Ho - The Movie came out on video in Britain? It's entirely irrelevant trivia, but it would be nice to know. My brother and I can't definitely fix the date when we got it, even with his world-beating memory skills.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I need a holiday

And I'm finding it very difficult to keep myself from buying an expensive one. Credit cards are tempting things when they've got thousands of pounds of essentially free money available on them that you'll only have to pay back at some nebulous time in "the future". Future Zoomy can deal with it, he's cool.

But no, because Past Zoomy maxed those credit cards out while he was extensively not working for a living and then taking much longer than expected to get back into a job that paid enough money to reduce the balances, Present Zoomy is going to continue to be good for the next six months or so and pay everything off, and then next summer, Future Zoomy can decide what to do with himself, all debt-free again.

I've got five days of holiday still to book before the end of the year, and that doesn't count the two days I've got booked already for that whatever-it-is "keynote speaker" thing I said I'd do somewhere at the end of November, nor does it count the Bit In Between Christmas And The New Year when the whole company I work for is closed down. So really, I don't have to do very much work at all in the rest of 2017. I'm also doing another whatever-it-is, possibly in Oxford, some time in November, which I should perhaps prepare for and maybe even book a day off work for, since it's on a Friday night, but we'll see. I'll find an inexpensive thing I can do with a week's holiday, and I hope Future Zoomy remembers to thank me for it.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Blown away by Brian

I do wish they wouldn't give names to the piddling little storms we get in this country. It makes us look like we're trying to be as cool as the places that get hurricanes. And Brian's a silly name anyway, that just makes me think of a Monty Python sketch. But at least it's an improvement on the previous one, which they saw fit to name after my mother. Imagine if I'd been somehow killed by Storm Aileen! I can just see Sigmund Freud watching from the hereafter and saying "See, that's exactly the kind of thing I was always talking about!"

And then my mother would say "It's not even remotely like anything you ever talked about. Stop taking credit for everything involving mothers!" and Sigmund Freud would say "Fair enough, sorry. Want another game of mah-jong, or whatever we do to pass the time in the afterlife?"

And then I'd come along (having, as I said earlier, just been killed somehow by the slightly-stronger-than-usual winds) and say "Are you talking about me?", and Sigmund Freud would say "No, not really. Want to play mah-jong with us?", and I'd say "No, I never really understood that game. I'll go and play badminton with my dad over there," and Sigmund Freud would say "There, see, that's exactly the kind of thing I was always talking about!" and the whole thing would go on in that vein for a long time. It'd get boring very fast, so it's a good thing I wasn't killed by the storm.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Holy Toledo!

It's the European Memory Championship in Toledo, Spain, this weekend, and I nearly let that happen without writing a blog entry entitled "Holy Toledo!"

This just goes to show how out of touch I am with memory competitions just lately, but I do have firm resolutions to go to more of them in 2018. Assuming I keep working at my current employers, I'll have more money to play with by the middle of next year, and will be free to trot around the globe to my heart's content. I might even do some training, but let's not get carried away...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rice pudding and income tax

I see our old friend AlphaGo is in the news again - or rather, a new improved version of it where they essentially just told it the rules of go and made it play a million games against itself until it had worked out the best strategies. This is very cool, and clearly leading up to the answer to the ultimate question any millennium now. It's a lot cooler than those robots they set to work bargaining with each other, who came to the conclusion that the one who shouts "I WANT" the most times gets the most stuff. That's the kind of thing that makes you wonder about the person who programmed them.

Anyway, it makes me think that memory competitions are on the low end of the 'humans beatable by machines' scale. We've basically been outclassed by machinery ever since it became possible to take photographs and develop them quick enough to fit in the competition time limits. Early Victorian machines could beat my score at hour numbers...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

On the road to recovery

Having posted whining blog entries for the last two days about being unwell, I can't not post anything today, or you'll all assume I'm dead. But I'm going to start posting full and exciting daily journals just as soon as I feel like it, you'll see.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It's totally not my fault

I made a definite resolution to blog something interesting on a daily basis, but I'm still unwell. So I'll stick to the letter rather than the spirit of the resolution, and just say this.