Thursday, February 25, 2010


Cityroomz was fully booked, after all my talk of tradition last night. I'm having to stay in a nicer, more expensive place instead. Tradition is ruined! Now I'll never achieve my usual mediocre results in the othello! I'll probably win it, or something useless and non-traditional like that.

Still, I'm cheered up by the news that David Taylor is entering the World Snooker Championship qualifying tomorrow, for the first time in millions of years. I always thought he was cool when I was very young, although I can't think why.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


It's that time of the year when I book a room in the Cityroomz hotel in Cambridge at the last minute, for the Cambridge International this weekend. And gah, it's £47.50 a night now! It's an awesome hotel, but it used to be a super-cheap one (in those days it was called "Sleeperz", which was a much more groovy name) as well, and now it's just a cheaper-than-average one. Still, it's traditional that I stay there, and I'm not going to break with tradition, even if I find a cheaper-but-still-nice place. Heck, maybe I'll even book a room for the MSO weekend, too, because I always leave it too late for that and find that the place is fully booked. May day weekend is somehow a more popular time to visit Cambridge than the last weekend in February, even though the othello tournament that weekend is smaller and less important.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Japan loves Zoomy

So, a Japanese TV company wants to fly me out to Japan and interview me and have me do some kind of interesting memory stunt in a studio and maybe scan my brain on an MRI machine or something unique like that.

Seriously. Fuji TV, "The Best House 123", mid-March or mid-April. Now, let's think about this. On the one hand, I have quite literally been there and done that, I only get 25 days of holiday a year and ideally I'd like to save quite a lot of them for China in August (if it doesn't get cancelled/rescheduled/moved to London) so I can go there a good few days early and beat the jetlag, and how many times can I fly to Tokyo and back before someone thinks I'm some kind of international millionaire playboy and kidnaps me to demand a hefty ransom that my impoverished family would be both unable and unwilling (because they don't like me all that much) to pay?

On the other hand, the more exposure I get on Japanese TV, the closer it brings me to fulfilling my secret lifelong ambition to play an evil scientist in a Godzilla movie. I'll seem to be a good guy at first, but then turn out to be secretly plotting to use the giant monsters to crush Tokyo and bring the world's economy under my control. It'll be great.

So I'll sleep on it and see what I think. I'll probably end up saying yes, if they really do want me to do it. I'd be great in a Godzilla movie. I could learn the lines in Japanese, no problem, on account of I'm a memory man.

I'd talk in a sort of deep, gruff, scientist voice and everything.

Monday, February 22, 2010

This is what I do when I'm bored

Seriously, I spend all day playing around with Excel spreadsheets at work, and sometimes I just want to come home and play with Excel spreadsheets in the comfort of my own living room. I'm a terrible sad case.

But I wanted to mess with unnecessarily complicated formulas to predict the Premier League table at the end of the season, based on who still has to play whom. The aim is to get to a point where my calculations are so weird and complex, yet still roughly justifiable by logic, that the end result is a pleasant surprise to me when I see it. Or an unpleasant surprise as it turns out. I really don't like Chelsea and I was hoping to come up with scientific proof that they weren't going to win it. But still, yay, it turns out that Aston Villa are going to get fourth place!

I won't bore everyone by explaining the calculations used (because I wouldn't know how to explain them comprehensibly, for a start), but I thought I'd put my predictions here for posterity and compare them with how the table looks after everything's done and dusted. I'll bet you a coke it's accurate, because it's generated by Science.

1 Chelsea 85
2 Man Utd 81
3 Arsenal 81
4 Aston Villa 72
5 Liverpool 69
6 Tottenham 68
7 Man City 68
8 Everton 53
9 Birmingham 52
10 Fulham 49
11 Stoke 46
12 Blackburn 43
13 West Ham 39
14 Wigan 39
15 Sunderland 38
16 Wolverhampton 38
17 Bolton 37
18 Burnley 37
19 Hull 37
20 Portsmouth [probably non-existent]

Right, that's enough time-wasting. Time to start doing something productive again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Perhaps that thing I could do instead of memory is learn to play othello properly? I've been at the same unimpressive kind of level for many years now, and maybe it's high time I devoted some time and effort to improving? But then again, what if I did try to become a great othello player and ended up still being rubbish? I have a feeling that might well happen, so it's probably best to play it safe and never try to achieve anything, ever.