Saturday, October 28, 2017

Time travel

Putting the clocks back is the signal that I'll have to dig out my bike lights and resign myself to the miserable situation of spending all the daylight hours in the office. Or else I'll just emigrate to Australia. I'll see what I feel like doing.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The world is very much my oyster

Having the next week off work with nothing specific I need to do in that time, I'm at liberty to book myself into a relatively inexpensive hotel somewhere and relax in scenic surroundings while planning various memory-related events. But where? Maybe I'll just stick a pin in a map, although since the only maps I have available are on the internet, the pin probably won't stick in the screen. And if it does, it'd only break my computer. Which is already somewhere near breaking, because the cooling fan's broken, so it's liable to explode at any...

[the blog entry is left unfinished at this point; the smouldering crater that is all that remains of Worcestershire stands as testimony to the importance of getting the fans on laptops fixed in good time.]

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Listen very carefully, I will say this only once

To get rid of some of those vouchers people keep giving me (I also got thirty pounds' worth from Eon electricity for some reason or other), I bought a box set of 'Allo 'Allo DVDs the other weekend and have been having great fun watching my way through the episodes. It's a kind of sitcom that's gone out of fashion these days and really needs to make a comeback - the big ensemble cast (eighteen characters at its peak) who have to appear and say their catchphrase every week sounds like it wouldn't leave much room for anything else to happen in a 30-minute episode, but it's actually hugely inventive, clever and funny, every time. I can see it working in the hands of some of the trendy young comedians of today. They should all get together and give it a go - just think of a premise and you're basically sorted!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Upcoming mentalities

I've got next week off work, which I'll maybe even use productively in preparation for the UK Memory League Championship in Ascot on the Saturday and Sunday. It will, if nothing else, ease me back into the competing-in-more-memory-championships thing I'm planning for next year, and it will certainly be a lot of fun!

Then, if you want to see me in my capacity as a memory man (I was going to say 'professional', but that sort of implies I do these things for pay, rather than for free whenever someone asks me), drop by the museum in Oxford on November 17th for a sort of late-night intellectual lock-in. I'll be there, saying or doing something (next week will also be partly devoted to working out exactly what), and so will lots of other interesting people. Check it out!

And if even that isn't enough Memory Man Ben Pridmore for you, come to Lancaster University on November 30th/December 1st for Making Memories Intelligible, a workshop in which I will attempt to give a "keynote speech" that qualifies as "intelligible", in an obvious departure from my usual habits. I'm sure it'll be great!

Then, continuing the university theme, but in a more traditional board-gamey way, it's the Cambridge Christmas Othello Tournament, unusually close to Christmas this year on December 16th. I need to practice my othello quite a lot more, too. The World Championship is happening in Ghent next week, so follow all the excitement on the website, even though I won't be there!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When Quinn the Eskimo gets here, all the pigeons gonna run to him

I've never seen a pigeon run, but despite this, I've got that song in my head somehow. Wikipedia describes it as "The subject of the song is the arrival of the mighty Quinn (an Eskimo), who changes despair into joy and chaos into rest, and attracts attention from the animals." Which I guess is accurate, but somehow doesn't quite sound sensible to me.

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.