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Please note that due to eddies in the space-time continuum, this page is an archeological relic of a previous instant in the history of my life. In other words, the below is woefully out of date. Sorry, and all that.
Hello, my name is not Increase Mathhrubers, Sber of Pelamar
Nor is it IMSoP, to which I generally abbreviate it (others call me IM, Increase, and Mr Mathhrubers). But that's what I'm called round here, and so it shall remain.
Actually, that wasn't originally my name here, either, but after a freak copy-and-paste incident, I decided that being named after a dead Puritan1 wasn't such a great thing anyway (me being "mostly" an atheist). Shame about the "shrubber" thing, though, but I guess that wasn't strictly accurate either...
Anyhoo, after a long absence, I have recently been inveigling my way back into this madhouse. My two, rather conflicting, highlights being the silliness of my fellow Thingites and the mental exercise and fascination of discussions like The Forum.
If you were hoping for something more interesting, then, well, tough! My old personal space had much more on it, but got rather out of date; besides, I replaced it with something more important...
Slightly more sensibly2, I'm a 24-year-old long-haired geek-type person who lives in "the glorious Sunshine Coast of Eastbourne"3 who commutes to Burgess Hill every day to make websites that let people book holidays to far more interesting places, and is wondering how much real information he should give out on this page4, tends to be a bit verbose and rambling7, and now has no idea whether this sentence makes any kind of sense because he's been too busy being uncontrollably parenthetical, and...
1 Increase Mathers; I just liked the sound of the name...
2 But, I think you'll agree, no more interestingly...
3 As the rather jolly train conductor described it as we arrived the other day
4 including the fact that he's a he's a he's a 5
5 Stop it!6
7 and likes footnotes rather too much
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Welcome to this Researcher's Journal. If you'd like to comment on anything they have written here, just click the relevant 'Discuss this Entry' button.
Fancy bothering to even HAVE finger-nails that small!
Apr 30, 2007
OK, I'm a bit behind myself (is that better or worse than being beside yourself?), but I'm determined to make a bit of a blog of this, and I really wanted to say something about my Easter break, so I'll start there...
It's leaking from the banjo...
Basically, my family is what I tend to describe as "rather nomadic" - we live all over the place - and this Christmas I didn't get to see either of my brothers, as one had just bought a post office in Derbyshire (as you do!) and the other was expecting a baby (yes, I know, his wife was... ). So my parents hatched the cunning plot of visiting them at Easter, and I hatched the even cunninger plot of jumping in their car while they weren't looking
First stop Derbyshire, and a delightfully sunny and relaxed couple of days with 3 children who I don't think I've ever seen all so mellow at the same time. Much daisy-chain making, scootering (and scooter-abandoning-to-be-carried-by-grown-ups), and that repetitive imaginative play that's so endearing until it becomes incompatible with a nice cup of and a sit down.
The only rather alarming downer was discovering that the smoke coming from the back of the car was in fact the last of the red steering fluid leaking from a corrupted banjo - why you need a small stringed instrument filled with red fluid to make your power steering go, I'm really not sure...
Having worked out an entire plan B, involving booking train tickets online, to go to York, come back, and be towed all the way home, we rang the garage and were told "Oh, it's fixed, did we not say? You can pick it up when you like..."
The best moment of the stay, though, has to be the 5 of us grown ups sitting around realising we'd left the Easter eggs in the B&B, racking our brains: "I'm sure there must be some chocolate here somewhere..." ... only after several minutes of which did my sister-in-law remember she'd just bought 4 whole cartons of chocolate bars from the cash'n'carry. I mean, y'know, you can't have Easter without chocolate, it's, like, tradition or something!
"That's nice for you, you like children."
That was my friend's wonderfully enthusiastic reaction when I told her my brother's baby had just been born; mine was more like "OOH! A baby! Goo-goo! Aaaah! " - no matter that it was not in any sense mine (I should be so lucky), not exactly the first baby I'd seen, and several hundred miles away anyway...
But luckily our next stop gave us the chance to catch up with this delightfully darling little creature - oh, and his parents too, I guess Apparently, someone told my brother before the birth: "You won't need a TV, or a computer, or anything any more; you'll just spend your whole time staring at the baby." Strange, but true - but then I seem to be a complete sucker for lickle kiddy-winks.
And besides, they are kind of magic aren't they? Babies, I mean. With their tiny little faces, and little hands, and improbably teeny-weeny finger nails...
There's also something rather strange about how much we all enjoyed the National Railway Museum - I mean, we're not exactly a bunch of trainspotters, and we didn't have an excited little boy with us (I don't think a 3-week-old counts), but anyway. Actually, York's a lovely place to be; must visit more often; and ogle the lickle babby
After all which - oh, and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the way back, also a lovely place, full of Andy Goldsworthys at the moment (artworks, that is, not clones ) - it was a bit of a shock having to turn up at work on the Poets with clients wishing I'd hurry up and get their release ready...
Feb 4, 2007
Last weekend, we had our office Christmas do.
No, really; I know it was the end of January, but it got a little postponed...
Y'see, being closely tied up with the travel industry, the company I work for has the habit of taking its jollies a bit further afield than most. The original message from my boss, sometime in December, read "This year's Christmas party is a surprise; meet at Gatwick at 6AM on [date] with your passport and overnight bag. Don't be late."
Unfortunately, there followed a case of trying to be too clever - flights are cheapest booked in advance, but for hotels last minute is best. Thus the flights in question were booked to Madrid long before it was discovered there was a bank holiday there, and all hotels were booked solid!
So we all knew where we were going for this month's postponed version, and miraculously (despite the complete mess half an inch of snow had made of the rail network 2 days prior) we all managed to get there fine. Unfortunately, we did lose one just before boarding the aircraft, when his papers were finally checked, and he was told that with an Indian passport and an expired visa, he'd be allowed out of the country, but not back in! [Apparently, he then went to the embassy in London, managed to get a new visa in a mere 2 hours rather than 2 days, nipped back to the station, and found the trains 20 minutes late; he missed the only other available flight by about 5 minutes! ]
The rest of us, however, proceeded to check into the hotel, and after a while spent finding my room (no, that's not a '1' or a '7', it's a '4'; obviously! ) got into the important business of, well, drinking lager.
Lunch involved getting lost trying to find the restaurant that had been booked, which turned out to be woefully inexperienced at dealing with such large groups, and much confusion reigned over quite what was available ("salmon, chicken, or pork" seemed to turn into 4 separate dishes, including gammon, but also eventually salmon). Nice meaty broth for starter though...
Other highlights in my memory include people falling off chairs, crawling inexplicably through tables, and wandering the streets of Madrid with two drunken Ia[i]ns (we have three altogether). We then proceeded to a 7-storey club, complete with cinema! But it did have an expensive and somewhat confusing system of drinks vouchers; and wouldn't give me any tap water, which 'd me off somewhat...
Next morning, unfortunately, I felt more than a little the worse for wear - a long day of drinking had most definitely taken its toll - I won't go into details here, but suffice to say I couldn't eat anything all morning, and had to move very carefully. Which is a shame, 'cos I'd really have liked to take more advantage of my surroundings, and of the tapas bar we went to, but I really really didn't feel up to it. Not that anybody else seemed to be feeling that much better - and we all had raging colds for the next week...
But I think my overall verdict has to be "random, in a good way"!
Dec 10, 2006
This week I added the following snippet of code to one of my company's core apps. Prizes to all those who can work out when and why it makes any difference.
if ( $amount == 0.00 )
$amount = 0.00;
the language is PHP
for those not used to it, '==' is comparison ("$amount is equal to 0.00") and '=' is assignment ("set $amount to 0.00")
PHP is weakly typed, so $amount could have been something other than a number, but that's not why I added this code - i.e. it's got nothing to do with type-casting
The goo is sucking me in!!
Nov 12, 2006
Oh dear, I think I'm going to have to become embroiled in this place again...
Oddly, I actually came upon it through the equally worrying fact that I've accidentally become addicted to the Archers (you made the right decision, Ruth!), since the BBC's message boards have now all been subsumed into the evil empire of DNA mwahahahaha!
But then I remembered just how much I used to enjoy this place, and just how wonderfully random it can be, and... well, I could feel myself being sucked right back in. Hey, there's even new smileys since I last visitted!
[As an aside, it occurred to me that h2g2 was building "social networks" long before MySpace et al; hell, it even has a link labelled "my space"; "h2g2.0" anyone? In fact, now I think about it, what about everything2 (aka e2) as well? Hmm... ]
Anyway, for anyone who's actually bothered to read this (is it just me, or is the "Journal Entries by Friends" link b0rked?), I should probably say something about what's happened in all these months, since my all-too-accurate comment that "Now, I can start the rest of my life. [Slowly ]"
Well, I moved back to sunny Eastbourne, my parents moved to Holland, my sister moved to Paris, my brother got married, and I wore a silly graduation hat. That was one summer. Then I sat around for a bit. And another bit. And got a job at the local Co-op corner shop, including the unlikely role of "baker off": getting up early every Sunday to cook ("bake off") half-baked loaves. And sat around some more.
And then, quite unexpectedly, in the space of a fortnight a few months ago, I found myself with a job programming travel websites, which I am currently enjoying far more of the time than not. I have the dubious pleasure of commuting to a station called Wivelsfield every day (more early mornings; ) and am currently looking forward to our "surprise christmas do" - surprise as in "be at Gatwick Airport at 6AM on such and such a day with your passport and overnight bag"...
All things considered - and, particularly, all *friends* considered - I'm pretty happy with my life right now. Long may that last...
Well, that's the end of that then...
Jul 1, 2004
I'm about to pull the plug on this Internet connection, and with it my living in Reading - I'm leaving; it's over; I've been here for 3 years, struggled to get a degree, succeeded; and now, it's all over.
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