thank you Helen for drawing this

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Welcome to Ali's blog. A blog that has absolutely nothing to do with juggling monkeys. It doesn't really have anything to do with much, just me rambling on about random things.

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Thursday, April 01, 2004
I went to an art show preview on Monday, how cultured of me. Okay, admittedly it was just because it's was Harriet's, but still, I looked at art, I even left a comment, a random one of course :-) Afterwards Helen and I went to Pizza Hut, wow, see, that's like having a life or something! Pizza Hut is good.

Tried to play Max Payne and it wouldn't work, it kept closing itself, which is what the Prince or Persia demo kept doing too, so that's helped me with my decision to build a newish computer (using some new parts and parts from my computer: Simon and Rob's older computer: Leon). Of course this has left me with a fresh dilemma. What should its name be? I mean what part of a computer constitutes it's personality? If I use the motherboard, processor and RAM from Leon and the hard drive from Simon and the graphics card from Leon which I already have in Simon now in a brand new case, with probably a new sound card then would you say it's partly Leon and Simon? Or does it have a new name, is it maybe the child of the two of them? I could combine the names, Silon is the best I could come up with :-) or I could just give it a totally new name. I'm tempted to keep the name with the case for each computer. I don't know if that makes sense, really name should maybe be associated with the motherboard or processor. However, as you replace parts in a computer you don't tend to change its name (well, apparently some people don't name them in the first place, but that sounds just plain crazy to me) so are we naming based on the container? When I'm left I'll still have the case Simon was in, and he'll still be a working computer (well, he might not, depending on if I leave enough parts in, I could leave a hard drive in, or I could take both out for the new computer) so he should maybe still be Simon. In fact he'll be more like the Simon I originally bought, without the extra DVD drives. Hmm, that's a point, if I take out both DVD drives and the floppy drive that'll make him pretty useless, oh, I can put the CD writer back in. Not like I'll have a monitor or anything for him anyway.

Random observation of the day

I have realised that I have a talent for something. I have yet to work out what possible use I can make of this talent, but if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. You see I am able to find the slowest moving queue at the supermarket every time. If there's a queue that has a trainee checkout operator, chances are I'm in it. If the till breaks, or there's a complicated query, I'm the person who's just loaded the shopping onto the conveyer belt behind, I'm never the person who still has the shopping in the trolley and so can just nip to the next queue, or if I am then that queue also develops a problem or 10 people manage to beat me to it. I'm not sure if this is something I was born with. I don't know if I'm just bad at spotting the signs of a queue that will move slowly, maybe that's it. It seems to be getting worse lately though (or better, depending on the way you look at it). I think I'm particularly bad in Tesco for some reason. That's where I really began noticing it. The talent isn't usually so bad if I'm with other people, maybe they cancel out the effect or something.

Sunday, March 28, 2004
I cancelled membership of Screen Select, just in case my dilemma was bothering you. I might reinstate it when Helen moves out and I'm all lonely :-( I've got someone to move in though, so I won't really be lonely yay! But it won't be Helen :-( well actually it will, but a different Helen.

Anyway, some of the other films I've watched:

Miller's Crossing
Boring film. Didn't like it at all. Odd because I've liked nearly all the other Coen brothers films that I've seen. This was disappointing, maybe just because I don't really like gangster films. * (1/5)

Idle Hands
Definitely a boy's film and not a great one at that. I'm not really into horror, I have to admit I mainly wanted to see it because of Seth Green and he did have some great moments, getting to do some of his great style of humour. Pretty much a stupid film, not much plot. Not meant to have much plot though, enjoyable in a way. ** (2/5)

The Italian Job
Fantastic! Okay, I had my doubts, I thought that remaking it was probably a bad idea, it wasn't even set in Italy. However, it was really well done, the chase scenes were great, it had a well thought out plot, I loved the whole Napster thing they had going and of course Seth Green makes a film worth watching :-) okay it wasn't a work of genius, but it was a really fun film. I'm only not giving it a 5 because I have to save 5 for truly fantastic films, I almost never give a 5. **** (4/5)

Chasing Amy
This was very good but erm, maybe a little more explicit than I'd have chosen. Not visually, but the discussions, just a bit too much for me. *** (3/5)

I just watched this and it was fantastic. Can't believe I haven't watched this sooner. It was great fun. The characters are great, the characters in all 3 of the Kevin Smith films I've seen (this, Chasing Amy and Dogma) have been great I guess that's because of the reusing of actors and even some characters, the plot was funny and I was kept entertained throughout. The Jay and Silent Bob bits were the best, but the whole thing was just very funny. **** (4/5)

I still have Hidden Fortress to watch, I have to get it back to them within 7 days of cancelling or they charge me for it, I would like to watch it because I really liked the Seven Samurai but I need to wait till I have time and am in the right mood. I think it'll need more concentration than the other films I've been watching lately.

I have a new dilemma now, should I build a newish computer out of old parts or just try to fix my current one. The new one would cost a bit more, say about £60, but would be slightly better and should be much more reliable as I'd replace my dodgy RAM. However it would be more cost effective just to fix my current computer. Hmm.

Random observation of the day

The people of Leicester have some weird problem with their pronounciations. Don't believe me, okay, I'll just write a few places in Leicester down and you try reading them out, then we'll see if you said them correctly:

Belvoir Street
Okay, unless you live in Leicester, you probably said something that sounding rather French: Sounding like, Bell Voir (can't think of a more phonetic way to write that really, considered, going and looking in a dictionary and figuring out phonetic rules, but can't be bothered). Okay, well, you'd be wrong apparently, because if you ask for Belvoir street pronounced like that then no one would know where you meant, well, they probably would, but they'd snigger at you, because of course you're supposed to pronounce it beaver. I ask you, does that even look remotely like the word beaver? No and yet Belvoir Street, Belvoir Castle and apparently somewhere in Coalville are all pronounced "beaver", just like the animal. Mad I tell you.

Okay, well I've known about that one for ages, it's something I think about occassionally and tut about, but it's not new to me. I discovered it after living here for a couple of years. I will move on to some more recent discoveries.

Okay, easy enough, gr- o - by one would think it'd be impossible to pronounce this any other way and yet no. The people of Leicester have decided in their wisdom that it is actually pronounced Grooby (or perhaps Gruby) once again demonstrating a complete disrespect for conventional phonics.

And now, on to the very final example and the one that prompted this observation. I only discovered this one on Friday when Helen found out at work...

Evidentally this place in Leicestershire has a silent x. I can't remember coming across a word with a silent x before, that's a new one to me. Now feel free to inundate me with words with silent xs to prove me wrong, I'd love to see them. You still won't convince me that "Sproston" (with spro rhyming with throw) is a sensible pronounciation.

Of course my arguement here falls down on the fact that I'm complaining because these pronounciations go against the rules of the English language. Of course there are so many words that go against the rules that it's clear they're more a kind of guideline than a rule. However, I just think it's mean with place names. It's like a way to spot the outsider, because there's no way that you'd know how to say them, so people get to laugh at you for your ignorance. I just don't remember coming across these kind of things anywhere else. Okay, I've only really lived in two places (I've moved house a lot within the places, but pretty much I grew up in Torbay and then moved to Leicester), so it's possible that there are loads of places that do this, but in my limited experience it's just Leicester.

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