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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gym kilt 

I misread a note I left to myself to remember to take my gym kit to work and thought I had written "gym kilt".

That got me thinking about all the other men in the gym wearing kilts. An interesting thought...

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Spam subject 4: Sender names 

Can you believe the names that spammers choose to send these things? I had two just now.

One was from "elisha chafe" and another from "Dick Holder".

I thought the whole point of spam was to fool people into thinking they had received an email from a real person. Do you know anyone called Elisha Chafe? Or, indeed, know of anyone with that as surname? And who in their right mind, if they had the surname Holder, would name their son Richard?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Birthday week 

How could I forget this?

Last week I celebrated my birthday on Monday and David celebrated his on the following Saturday. There is something special in us having our birthdays in the same week. It almost feels like an extra Christmas but without the crowds.

Many use their birthdays as a time of reflection, a time to assess their lives, look back over the past year and see if there is anything they need to change. I do that every other day of the year. For me, birthdays are for presents.

David surpassed himself and found things that meant a lot to me. For ages I have been looking for two BBC children's shows from the seventies that haven't made it on to DVD and show no sign of doing so. David managed to find both.

One is The Changes, a story of an England where people all of a sudden turn on their machines. Anything more complicated than a wheel and they are smashing it to bits. The story follows a girl making her way to find out why this has happened and to be reunited with her parents.

The other is The Moon Stallion. I don't remember too much of the story of this other than there being a sort of supernatural horse and a stable hand who has some sort of power over it. I think watching this was one of my first inklings that I might be gay: the stable hand was played by a young David Haig with a rather nice beard. At one point late in the story he has to take his shirt off. I remember an awful lot of chest hair. Typical how I remember that oh so clearly and hardly anything of the story.

David also bought me the Star Trek Time Travel boxed set: a collection of most of the time travel stories from all the incarnations of Star Trek. What a great idea! We've watched three of them already.

Of course, he also gave me this year's Georgia Nicholson story. It has to be said that these books are aimed at teenage girls and not 43-year-old fat bald gay men but they are hysterically funny nonetheless. How can anyone resist a book called "It's OK I'm wearing really big knickers"? This year's is called "Luuurve is a many trousered thing".

Lastly (I think), he got me a pin-hole camera kit. This was something I asked for and have been using while I was on holiday. We'll see how the photos come out.

My friends, before I went on holiday, got me a new pressure cooker to replace the one I managed to break at Christmas. My parents had it for decades. The new one seems a little less complicated, which is a relief.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Post-holiday depression 

I've just come back from Buxton where I spent a week at the international Gilbert & Sullivan festival as well as touring around bits of the Peak District. It rained every day but it was nice and relaxing and the shows were great fun.

Why is London so awful when you come back to it?

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Land of confusion 

Is it just me or do a lot of straight men appear to be growing more feminine while gay men are looking a lot more butch?

Just a thought.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Spam subject 3: Nominated for a Ph.d 

Got one, thanks! And I can spell it properly!

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Generation gaps? 

Last night I watched an episode from Quantum Leap. I’m working my way steadily through the boxed sets of all five seasons. It was something I missed a lot of when it was on TV and only came to enjoy when it was close to finishing.

This particular episode, Good Mornin’ Peoria, had Sam taking the identity of a DJ in a small radio station in, of course, Peoria. He was tasked with saving the radio station from closure and its female owner from the resultant ruination.

The main thrust of the plot was that some prominent members of the town wanted to stop the radio station playing rock and roll because they thought it was corrupting their youth. Sam eventually won the day by some clever wordplay about various constitutional amendments and freedom of speech. The kids got the music, he got the girl and the radio station was saved. Hurrah!

I couldn’t help thinking that the same scene could essentially be played in more or less every decade since. In the fifties it was rock and roll, then free love in the sixties, glam rock in the seventies, punk in the eighties and so on.

People of my age, in whatever era and seemingly almost without exception, hate the popular music of younger generations. We see it as meaningless repetitive rubbish that leads to social degeneration.

Did this happen before the fifties, I wonder? Did wartime parents worry about their sons and daughters listening to swing? A further back, did people worry about the bad influence of Beethoven?

Is this some sort of law of nature?

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