In response to Gordon’s post, [Firefox Extensions Revisited][], this is a list of the Firefox extensions that I am currently using.

[firefox extensions revisited]:

* Adblock Plus (also on the iBook and at work) ((There are forks of Adblock all over the place, and it’s very, very confusing. I’ve had problems with on Ubuntu so I’m using a different version,, which is available here))
* Bookmark Backup 0.4
* Colorful Tabs 1.1 (also at work)
* 0.5.11 (also on the iBook and at work)
* Disable Targets For Downloads 1.0.1 (also at work)
* Download Manager Tweak 0.7.1 (also at work)
* Gmail Notifier
* ListZilla 0.7 (also on the iBook and at work)
* Menu Editor 1.2 (also at work)
* Mouse Gestures 1.0.4 (also at work)
* NoScript (also on the iBook)
* Resizeable Textarea 0.1b (also at work)
* SessionSaver .2
* Slim Extension List 0.3.1
* udtool 0.6.6 (also on the iBook)
* Urban Dead Homing Beacon 1.0 (also on the iBook)
* User Agent Switcher 0.6.8 (also at work)
* Web Developer 1.0.2 (also at work)
* WebmailCompose 0.6.6
* Yahoo! Mail Notifier 0.9.9

The following extension I currently only have installed on my computer at work, as there wouldn’t really be much point installing it on a non-Windows computer:

* IE View 1.2.7

Of course, in the near future I am going to be trying out many of the extensions that Gordon uses as well. [Download Statusbar][], for example, is looking like a promising replacement for Download Manager Tweak. This is the kind of list that doesn’t stay static for very long.

[download statusbar]:


Don’t worry, I’m not really addicted

> A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

> The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

> Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…”

INames have been changed currently have a bag of chocolate in my desk drawer – specifically, [Minstrels][]. I feel very bad about this, because by the time I have finished this bag I will have eaten 30g of saturated fats and a whole host more crap besides.

I purchased the bag in a moment of weakness, and now they sit here: taunting me, asserting their power over me. Clearly it is in my nature to purchase chocolate, but my better judgement tells me that I should refrain. I don’t want to be beholden to these seemingly innocuous little chaps, but yet I find that they call me, and I answer to their beckoning. If I could fight them, then I know that I would be a better person.

But it is in my nature.


**UPDATE:** I’ve eaten two [creme eggs][] and a [kitkat chunky][] today. Does that make me a bad person? Well, obviously the kitkat does, because it’s a Nestle product, but my question was intended to come from a chocolate perspective.

[creme eggs]:
[kitkat chunky]:



Clock Enumeration

clockFrom the bottom of the house to the top. No, let’s do it the other way.

* Bedroom
* Karen’s computer (self-adjusting)
* Stereo (I think)
* CD/radio alarm clock
* The watch that I use from day to day
* The watch that I don’t use from day to day
* Karen’s watch
* Music room
* My computer (self-adjusting)
* The bluey-grey clock
* My camera
* Kitchen
* Microwave
* Another bluey-grey clock
* The boiler
* Dining room
* The iBook (self-adjusting)
* Front room
* DVD recorder
* My mobile phone
* Karen’s mobile phone (self-adjusting?)
* The television might have a clock in it, but it is of no consequence.
* The car
* Stereo (self-adjusting)
* Dashboard clock

Some of these I have remembered to adjust the clock on. Some, I have not. Yet.

Inspiration came from the direction in which lies [Rob][].





This chap was more than willing to stand still for a photo, unlike most of the other inmates at Bristol Wildwalk.


Bittorrent won’t resume!

Rather annoyingly, I cancelled a bittorrent download, and when I resumed it would not pick up on the previous download. It looked like I might be forced to restart, losing 152MB of progress. Each time I tried to select the existing directory to attach to, the file browser would navigate *into* the directory, which is not what I wanted – the contents of the torrent *is* the directory.

Hooray for command line. I located the torrent file in my `/tmp` directory and used the following command to get back on track:

`gnome-btdownload –url /tmp/myfile.torrent –saveas ~/downloads/thedir/ &`



a catInspiration is like a cat. It does not come to you when you call it. If you believe that you are its master for one minute, then you are mistaken. Looking for inspiration is a follicle exercise.

In my experience, there are a few obvious mistakes that should be avoided.

If you are looking for inspiration, you should not go to the works of those who inspire you. Crazy as it seems, this will not work. Under these circumstances, all you will end up with is a pale imitation of someone else’s genius.

This has happened to me on numerous occasions, when I have written songs as a direct response to another song that I have heard. Sometimes you will forget about the original source, and things will work out fine, as your crappy imitation becomes, in the long term, what you perceive as the de facto original. More likely, however, and I speak from experience, is that for the rest of your life you will be unable to sever the connection between the original art and your shoddy ripoff, and it will remain always as no more than an embarrassment.

In my opinion, the state towards which we strive should be one of not resembling our influences. If someone asks you who your musical influences are, and you say Coldplay, and your music sounds like Coldplay, then you might as well be a Coldplay covers band – at least it would be honest. I’ve always felt that the whole “musical influences” question is a dumb one anyway. On a personal note, one of my band’s songs was once described as “The Muppet Show meets Jamiroquai” so I’ve adopted this as my standard response *(to the “musical influences” question)*, even though it is completely unsuitable for the majority of our songs.

We *(by which I mean You)* sometimes make the mistake of assuming that big inspiration can only be contained within big things. Inspiration, like a modern sleeping bag, can be compressed down into an impressively small space. Next time you seek inspiration, try looking around you at small objects – about the size of a testicle – and see what pops out of them.

At the point at which you are so desperate for inspiration that you’ve come to a blogger for advice, I’d say that you’re not in a mental state that is conducive to the task. You have to bear in mind that there are two states, the “thinking” and the “doing”, and I’d bet tuppence that you’re in the “doing” state at the moment. Admit it.

Now that you’ve admitted it, here’s what you should do. Find a rucksack. Into it, put the following items:

* Pen
* Paper
* Pork pie
* Torch *(in case you find yourself staying out late)*
* Keys
* Mobile phone *(but turn it off – it’s only for emergencies)*
* Camera
* Beer money
* Binoculars

Put on suitable clothing, and go out for a walk. City or forest, it doesn’t matter. The brain has a valve which prevents it from digesting information at the same time as creating it. In 15 minutes, your mind will get accustomed to the fact that you’re not force-feeding it self-righteous bollocks written by a blogger with absolutely no relevant qualifications whatsoever, and it will switch from “doing” mode to “thinking” mode, or, if you prefer, from “suck” mode to “blow” mode.

Because, let’s be honest, right now, you suck.

Music Original Music

He, Too, Devours Particles

I’ve thrown together another little song for you to download and listen to.

Please note that this is not my usual singing voice. I’m not even sure what my usual singing voice **is** anymore.

Listen at

Gardening Photos

Poor Snappy

Poor Snappy

I suspect that this pot is too small, and his roots aren’t deep enough to support his shoots.

I hope that it won’t hamper his reproduction too much.


Somewhere Peaceful and Isolated

But what if there was never going to be a right time? It’s very difficult to suddenly turn round one day and say “Oh, and by the way, I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you.” There needs to be some sort of catalyst, some sort of entry to the subject, before it can even be considered.

*“Dave said something really weird yesterday.”*

She was talking, but Chris wasn’t paying any attention to her. His mind was elsewhere, playing hopscotch in a sea of fantasies and desires. He pictured the two of them on a beach, or in a meadow, or somewhere else peaceful and isolated. He’d be looking deep into her eyes, and running his fingers through her hair, and maybe they’d be eating pork pies on a picnic blanket, and running barefoot through the surf.

*“He just randomly announced that he loves me. I was quite surprised.”*

Chris was snapped back into reality. A sudden intake of breath.

“Oh yes?”

*“Yeah. Can you imagine that? Spending years pretending to be my friend, and then… this!”*

Chris kept his focus firmly on the pavement. He studied the regularity of the slabs, the moss that grew in the cracks, the way that the roots from the trees were forcing the surface up and causing large bumps in the ground every few feet.

*“I think that I’m avoiding him now.”*

Chris briefly tested his mouth for moisture and stability. He didn’t want this next sentence to come out all squeaky or shaky.

“Yeah, I don’t blame you. God, what a weirdo.”

Well, that answers that then.

Music Original Music

A little ditty

I’m trying something a little different here. The song is called “Sliding Gracefully Into Partially Frozen Malaise” and can be listened to at