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Attn: UK noders! If you currently reside in or around the London area please read this...

A plea for help...

I live in a relatively small (population roughly 50,000) city in Queensland, Australia. I've been working in Level 2 tech support (software) for about 2 years and have decided that it's time for a change. To this end my Girlfriend and I have decided to spend a year in the UK on a working holiday. We are hoping to stay in London for the first 10 months - 1 year before heading off on a budget (backpacking) tour of Europe. My SO is a teacher and therefore has a relatively easy path to gainful employment. I on the other hand have 2 years IT experience and not much else. If anyone could recommend a region in which we could live (we want to live cheaply but we don't want to get raped or stabbed either - no offence to you wonderful Londonites) it would be very appreciated. Thanks in advance.

In other news (if I dare suppose that my life qualifies as news) I'm going to attempt Thai pepper garlic chicken tonight. Let's see if E2 can invade my culinary life as well...

I was getting my three year old son ready for nursery this morning and I asked him to wear his sandals. He said to me "No mummy I don't want to wear my sandals, I want to wear my shoes and socks" to which I questioned "Why? I think it's going to be a hot day today" and he answered "No mummy, I think it's going to rain", so I continued to question him "why do you think it's going to rain?" and he gave the most brilliant response, "I think it's going to rain because of all of the cumulonimbus clouds in the sky!"

At that moment I felt pure joy, not only because of what he said, but also because he was right...
Whilst drinking my morning dose of Sunny Delight - don't feel sad for me, I know the partnership I'm getting into - a thought struck me, coming from the bleak depths of my Tory mind. Why don't Procter & Gamble just cut to the chase, simplify things, ditch the liquid and just sell sugar to children? 100 per cent pure cane sugar, nothing else, sold in 500ml bottles. Dyed in a variety of attractive colours. They could get the Sugababes to do a song in the adverts, and call the product 'Suga', or 'Sugatots' or something like that.

I mean, kids today are used to calories, they suck them up all the time, and their children will be totally immune. Calories will go straight through their bodies. They will be shitting calories. Rats down in the sewers and will eat highly-calorific turds and will grow to giant size, but that's a problem for future generations to deal with. These hyper-children will have to eat huge amounts of food just to keep warm, but the human stomach is only so large, and so they'll have to eat highly calorific food, and what food is more calorific than pure sugar? Petrol, perhaps, but human stomachs can't deal with petrol, at least not yet.

Modern life in the western world is a constant struggle between two opposing forces. On the one hand, we want to stuff ourselves, and on the other hand we don't want to get fat. Sugar is the ideal solution; you can eat it all day long without becoming full up - because it dissolves, silly - and it has no fat at all. You know you want it. The more you eat, the more exercise you will be able to do, and the thinner you will become. It's like coffee, without the milk or the coffee. Sugar will be our Saviour.

P&G could also market an alcoholic version that's partially dissolved in malt liquor, with radio advertising featuring early hip-hop tracks by Ice Cube, Yo-Yo and the Geto Boys. Also, there could be an 'adult' version that's mixed with honey - call it 'Sugahoney', perhaps - with advertising that features Sophie Dahl and Kate Dillon being smeared in the stuff whilst wrestling naked on a transparent plastic sheet, and after a fortnight the publicists could let slip to the newspapers that drug users inject it with heroin in order to take the taste away.

That's how I would market it, anyway. Restrictions on advertising and products are nonsense and should be removed, as indeed they will be by progress and time; if people want to kill their bodies and brains, and those of their children, let them. I believe that it was common in the Victorian era for children to be placated with laudanum, a derivative of opium - a perfume advertised with some success by the aforementioned Ms Dahl - and whilst opium is unfortunately nowadays illegal, sugar is not. There has to be some way to keep the kids amused and out of trouble, and given that beating, capital punishment and baby farming are similarly restricted - a terrible mistake, one that will be rectified when the Conservative Party is next in power, mark my words - sugar is the best available solution. The sugar will allow the children to enjoy life all the more, and they will probably talk much faster and shake a lot, but that's okay because it's natural. There's nothing artificial in sugar. It comes straight from God's nipple.

Do you ever notice that when you spend more time with one project the other ones fall behind and don't get the effort put into it. This has been the case here. I feel as though I have been slacking here, but I promise to get back an node.

On another note, I'm home sick today. There's been a bug going around work, that it seems most of the office had, so its my turn now. So I'm home today with some form of bug, my sinuses are full and draining, so that makes my throat sore. So I'll get caught on noding maybe and finish some stuff here hopefully. Oh yeah and I'll nap a lot. The best part about being home sick.

INT. SHOT / NIGHT TIME - BAR

So there I am. Boozing away and throwing caution to the wind again. Work awaits the next day, but I'm 5 beers into it already. I'd give up my hard earned B.A. to enhance this experience just a little bit more. I feel like Freddy Mercury descending on Wembley on a warm summer's kick ass rock-fest.(with the moustache)

A band, Flu, is playing with heavy fire power. Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Drums and two fine Brass Cats. There's oldie rock, popular Jazz, plain pop, Jazzy renditions of enduring Turkish songs and anything else you can shake an auricle at. I'm so into it I do not realize for a while that the drop-dead-gorgeous-possibly-future-mother-of-my-college-ditching-brats is sporadically givin' me the eye. "Hi my name is..." nah!, "Don't I...?", "Do you come here oft...", yeah right! (this actually pops out no matter how refined you are). Ok, music's good, I can bide my time.

I've seen her before and she'd stood out primarily because of her extra inches (height) and straight sexy auburn fur. Hour after hour, drink after drink this pantomime continues, as it does. There is just too much damn eye tag goin' on for doubt to hang around. Even my personal invisible bastard is screamin' his medley in my ear: "Dude you've been down lately. Go talk to her. I promise, no trippin' up, no spilling yer beer, and especially no Durex's spilling out of your wallet as you exchange cell numbers. Tonight's on the house, go get some suppository sunshine so I can have some work cut out for me... Enjoy!" *smile*.

I realize that it's about that time when you haven't the faintest excuse to chicken out. Unless(!) you want to keep the beautiful, dizzying anticipation of it all, alive. I know, Thrill of the Chase is a dead pastime. With people porking each other on eye contact, desensitization is of the essence. I like the ritual. Shoot me.

To cut a stupid daylog detailing my anxieties short, I flunked, she went off with the singer. Yes, I'm a 26 year old Patent and Trademark Specialist with plenty of conquests under my belt, yet I still blush and flush in such situations. Aren't I cute?

Not any more Kid.

So I'm doing the done thing tonight. I'm going off to the same bar like the pathetic farty I am.

SLAM!

My copy of Harry Potter 5 arrived on Saturday, the release day, in the middle of our shabbos meal, along with my sister's copy and our houseguest's copy. I couldn't start it until Shabbos was over, so at around 10:00, I picked up the book. I finished it at 5:00 the next morning, then promptly fell asleep. It took me a total of 6 hours to read (subtracting breaks), and it was a wonderful addition to the series.

I decided that I would re-read it, but didn't want to lug around a 10 lb. book, so I decided, hey, I bet Gnutella has a copy that my palm would run, and a 60-second search later, there were my search results. I downloaded the two with the largest number of sources, so I would get the files quickly, then went back into the other room. 15 minutes later, I came back, and the files were downloaded.

Of course, the first though that popped into my head was "Wonderful!" but then I opened the first copy of the file, a pdf document. (No, it's not a spoiler for the book, you'll see...)

Chapter 1 - The Trip It was the most wonderful feeling harry ever experienced. He was flying through the air, feeling the wind blow by and through his entire body. The warm sun...

Now, I wasn't certain, so I went to get my copy of the book, and sure enough, that didn't even resemble the opening of the 5th book. Not at all. I checked again, confused. I looked further, and sure enough, the online version had only 32 chapters. It was only 357 pages. But it was 357 pages...

Clearly, somebody decided to write a 350 page book, in the universe of Harry Potter, following the fourth book, and make it seem like the 5th book! It was rather miserably done, as a large section of the book spelled Voldemort Veldomert, the plot was more than just a bit weak, the writing is just plain bad, and the whole thing reeks in every other way I can think of. I'm still kind of suprised, though... Harry Potter 5 is fake!

PS. The PDF file says it was created on friday, and I think that the text version on gnutella is earlier. I am truly amazed that a good copy did not arrive to my segment of gnutella until sunday afternoon.

The following appeared on my homenode from 23 June 2003 until August 12, 2003. I'm already looking forward to archiving its successor with the editor-cooled mess that is the latter set of daylogs, but in the meantime, I'm keeping this here because my scratch pad is already chock-full.


23 June 2003, Eugene, Oregon

In the past month, I've gotten a job as a line cook at The Glenwood Restaurant (node forthcoming) and moved to a new house with Jongleur, where we'll be living with Joyquality although a random contract job has prevented her from moving to Eugene just yet. It feels like a little too much, too soon, but the thing about life is you've got to keep living it. So I do.


My last self-indulgently autobiographical homenode journal entry was on 10 April 2003. I've moved it to a daylog, mostly for my own reference.

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