Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mouse 1, trap 0

I set a trap last night for the mouse in my house, who I've decided to call Sniffles so that I feel even more guilty about killing him, but he not only ate the peanut butter without getting squished, but managed to break the trap so that it can't be set again. I'm dealing with a super-genius rodent here. But I've got another one now, and baited it with chocolate (and I tell you, giving up a bit of my Yorkie is a major sacrifice for me). And if that fails, I've got "Rodine mouse & rat killer", which I assume is what the cool kids are calling rat poison these days. There's a drawing on the front of a seriously evil-looking mouse and rat. But I'm reluctant to use this because it says on the back that "rats normally die within a week of eating Rodine, mice may take a little longer." Seriously, what kind of puny poison is this? Mice only live a year or so anyway, does this stuff actually do anything or are they just hedging their bets that it'll die of natural causes within a couple of weeks of eating it? And slowly poisoning poor little Sniffles is even more cruel and heartless than setting a trap to hopefully kill him quickly.

You know, I'm going off this whole mouse-killing idea. Maybe I'll get rid of the trap and just leave him alone.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sword of Omens, give me sight beyond sight!

What I would really like to blog tonight is to quote my brother at length on the subject of comparing a 1980s episode of Thundercats to current real-world events, but I should probably ask his permission first, so I'll leave that for another day. Besides, it probably wouldn't be as interesting to someone not as familiar with the Thundercats cartoon series as the two of us. And there isn't anyone in the world who is. We both know every episode forwards and backwards, and have spent the past twenty years discussing every little detail of it. It's one of my many obsessions in life, and one thing I've been meaning to do for ages is to produce an exhaustive review and analysis of every episode for the entertainment of Thunder-fans worldwide. The recent release of the first 33 episodes on DVD must have reawoken a lot of people's interest in the cartoon, after all.

I envisage a new blogger page, updating daily with a new episode, detailing the latest exciting adventure of our heroes, and highlighting the good and terrible lines of dialogue, the bizarre idiosyncracies of individual writers, discussion of the many plot holes and artistic errors, all that kind of thing. I could write ten thousand words on each episode, easily, off the top of my head, and I'm sure there must be a few people out there who'd like to read it. It's just a matter of getting round to it...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I need more practice at going to interviews

I had an interview today for a job that I really didn't want, because it doesn't sound very exciting, it's a six-month temp contract, it doesn't pay enormously well and because it's in the quite literal middle of nowhere - the Denby Hall business park, near the tiny village of Denby, about ten miles away from here. Still, I decided to go along for the interview because I thought I could do with the practice. I worked out that the best way to get there would be to take my bike on the train to Belper and then cycle the three or four miles to the building. The interview wasn't till ten, but that left me having to get the 8:27 train, because they only stop at Belper every couple of hours.

Got to the station in plenty of time, bought my ticket, then realised I'd forgotten to bring my watch with me. This was going to make it difficult to arrive at the interview at the right kind of time, but I didn't have time to go home for it, so I decided to work something out when I got to Belper. Sat on the platform, reading the Metro newspaper, I looked up at the clock and noticed it was 8:27 and a half. 'Typical,' I thought, 'train's late as usual.' I got up and looked down the platform to see if it was coming yet, just in time to see it leaving. I was sitting on platform 6a, it was on platform 6b.

Faced with a choice between calling them to explain that I couldn't come to the interview because I'm too stupid to catch a train, or finding another way to get there, I went for option 2. 'You know,' I thought to myself, 'I can cycle ten miles in an hour and a half. Easily. I used to do it on a daily basis when I was living back in Tumby Woodside. And while I don't know the way as such, Derbyshire has what's supposed to be a very nice network of cycle paths going all around the county, with those little blue signposts showing the way. It'll be easy!'

And so I cheerfully set off on my way. And yes, it's very easy to find your way around Derbyshire by bike if you can just read signposts. Sure enough, having gone through Little Eaton and out the other side, I saw a sign saying to turn right for Denby. A couple of right turns later and I was thinking 'Something's wrong here. Firstly I'm going back the way I came, and secondly I'm on the dual carriageway. Ah well, if I keep going down here presumably I'll come to a turning for Denby. That's what the sign said, after all.'

Some distance later, I saw another road sign and realised the problem. The sign I thought said "Denby", actually said "Derby". You know, the big city where I live and the place I was coming from in the first place. It hadn't occurred to me that they're only one letter different. And the two letters in question are very similar in appearance, and if you think you're going to see a sign for Denby, it's only natural that you... yeah, I'm just extremely stupid.

Anyway, I eventually found my way off the dual carriageway, turned round and went back the way I came, and found my way to the interview at what was probably around ten o'clock (I hadn't thought to go home for my watch before setting off). The interview went well enough, although the man interviewing me thought I was hugely overqualified for the job, and although I tried not to agree with him for the sake of a bit of interview practice, he was entirely right. I need to talk to the woman from the agency - although I always say I don't care about career progression and things, I find that I do take exception to being put forward for what was basically an accounts assistant position. Maybe I am a dynamic go-getter yuppie, after all.

And since it was a nice day, I decided to cycle all the way back too, rather than getting some use out of my Belper train ticket. And I hardly got lost at all! And, to put it as politely as I know how, my bum didn't half hurt by the time I got home. I should go for long bike rides more often, it's fun.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thomas! There's a mouse in the house!

Well, I declare. Heard a rustling noise in a pile of old papers and things, and saw a little mouse scamper out and disappear into the hole in the cupboard under the sink. I suppose I should do something about it, but the idea of setting a trap to kill something doesn't appeal to me hugely. My natural inclination is to let him get on with things and not disturb him, but then I suppose he might tell all his friends that I'm a soft touch, and the place will be overrun with vermin. The cartoony thing to do is to get a cat, of course, and set in motion a chain of events that will lead to the whole house being blown up by big red sticks of TNT while I stand on a chair screaming and lifting up my skirt.

I don't know why a mouse would come all the way up to my first floor flat, just to scuttle across the floor, however unhygenic and doubtless full of bits of food down the back of the cooker and so on my place may be. You'd think he would have found a place that's more convenient for the shops (it's a long way if you've got little legs, and the stairs are quite steep).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Because I banned myself from talking about the Guardian interview

Here's a comic for you. This is the second in my series of forcing-myself-to-draw-and-not-care-how-bad-it-looks comics - you can perhaps understand how bad the first one was if I tell you that this one is so very much better that I think it's absolutely brilliant in comparison. Of course, since you don't get to see the first one (my ego just won't permit it), you'll just see this and think "wow, he really can't draw." But I have been told that the child-like artwork just adds to the humour, so I'm going to pretend it looks like this deliberately.

















Or if you don't like that, and because I haven't written anything silly for much too long and the following conversation is going through my head:

"Good morning. I represent the estate of your late uncle. My condolences on his recent death."

"I haven't got an uncle, dead or otherwise."

"Your aunt was secretly married to a man whose existence she concealed from the rest of her family due to his unsavoury reputation. This man is now deceased. My condolences."

"I also haven't got an aunt. Both my parents were only children."

"Your mother in fact had an identical twin sister from whom she was separated at birth without her knowledge. This sister is also now deceased. My condolences."

"I have video footage of my mother's birth. She couldn't have had a twin sister."

"The woman you know as your mother did not in fact give birth to you. Your biological mother was another woman who chose not to raise a child, preferring to live a life of carefree abandon and disregard for society. This woman is also now deceased. My condolences."

"Well... did any of these people leave me anything in their wills?"

"They did not. Good day."

Monday, May 21, 2007

He's the memory man

I feel that there's been too much about me in this blog lately, and not enough stories about a man who believes he's a branch of Woolworth's, but having written the latter and decided it wasn't funny, all I have left to talk about is my bit on Current TV. I saw it today for the first time - motivated by a commenter the other day who had not only seen it, but checked out my blog because of it, I thought I should really know what it was like so I can know what kind of thing all these new readers will be expecting. As luck would have it, I looked myself up on their website and found that I was on in five minutes' time. And it's actually rather fun! I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't appalled by the way my voice sounds on tape! I come across as a nerd, but in a funny kind of way. You get to see my living room, my cuddly toys, my video collection, my trophy collection (a great moment with me staring at one and, quite genuinely, saying "I can't remember what this one's for, actually...") and edited highlights of me memorising and recalling a pack of cards.

I don't know when it's next on - check out the website here or this might work better if you're American. It's one of those websites that redirects you according to what country you're in, so both of those might work for you wherever you are.

I hereby resolve not to do any more blog posts for at least a week on the subject of me showing off about my TV career, my othello talents, my memory records, my devastating good looks (I do look rather good on the Current thing, actually) or anything else.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Radio Times is playing with my mind.

There's a film on tonight at 1:05am, called "GMT Greenwich Mean Time", and glancing at the listings I saw "1:05 GMT" and thought 'wait, is summer time finishing tonight? It can't be, it's May. Summer usually ends some time after June, I'm sure.'

I always feel a bit embarrassed about buying the Radio Times. It's so, well, middle-class. It's significantly more expensive than the dreadful, common, garish listings magazines full of nothing but soap opera gossip that nevertheless contain all the same information about what's on TV this week (probably more information, in fact, when it comes to satellite channels, because RT only covers them with great reluctance), but that I wouldn't touch with a bargepole (I disapprove of the middle classes on principle, but I'm a terrible snob). And it's a huge amount more expensive than just looking up the TV listings on the internet or my fancy interactive TV. But although I feel deep down that a working class hero like myself probably shouldn't buy the Radio Times, I just like it. So there.