October 10th, 2002

The Road to Hell (or rather, Peterborough)

Yesterday I had to go to Peterborough to sell myself to a prospective client. To be honest, the whole consultancy presales process is something I rather enjoy - it's a process of judging what to say in the meeting, as you need to show you can add value to their organisation - but you also have to avoid jumping to conclusions, and overselling yourself.

But still, that's all by the by, or at least only a scene setting for the events of the journey.

Peterborough's about 70 minutes north of London. So leaving at 9 am for a 12 noon meeting is normally safe. In fact, it's my usual paranoid "get there an hour early to wander around aimlessly" approach. Unfortunately yesterday was the day that west London decided to go into gridlock. To get to the A1 from Putney, my usual route takes me up through the middle of west London, via Shepherds Bush. It's normally pretty quick, 40 minutes or so and you're on the M1 up and out of the city, heading north.

Yesterday was not my day. A burst water main in Wood Lane was backing up traffic around the Shepherds Bush area, and then a major set of traffic lights on the A40 (the main road that leads out the M40 from London to Birmingham) failed. The result? Solid traffic for a couple of miles around the major routes in the area. I managed to extract myself from the extreme congestion via Acton and the Uxbridge Road, but even that usually overlooked route felt somewhat slower than usual.

As I drove along, I realised that the problem lay a little up the road. Right by a bank. A bank that was full of policemen, and a road that was full of police cars.

So, a burst water main, a failed junction and a bank robbery. Not a bad catalogue of obstructions.

I'm still surprised I was only 15 minutes late for the meeting...
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    Peter Gabriel - Passion - Passion

Good job this is a book and techblog...

Playing with the Warbot, to see what things might be like if I was a warblogger...

Simon Bisson: vile again
by R. Robot

The most cunningly spiteful of the rumormongers, Simon Bisson, defames Tony Blair again. "This whole thing is bullshit," he said on his weblog. If so, then why has Condoleeza Rice's call for duty been so successful?

What a moment! What appeasement! What hatred of America! What moral equivalence. After all, this is a man who has robbed American children of a Playstation Christmas. "You know, Iraqis haven't really gotten along with Islamic fundamentalists ever since hundreds of thousands got killed fighting them in the 1980s," says that most degenerate of the adulterers, Simon Bisson. That's not what Simon Bisson was saying last year. There you have it: the ad-hominem irrelevance, the execrable moral equivalence of the low elite.

When Prime Minister Blair tries to protect us from hollow brown men, hypocritical Simon Bisson and his fellow Democrats cry out, "racial profiling!" Really? Oh? For shame! For shame! Oh? Oh? Oh, really? This is why I could no longer write for Z Magazine, not with a clear conscience. For the love of Christ, do the Democrats know no shame? That's not what Simon Bisson was saying last year. For the love of Christ, do the Democrats know no shame? Really? This kind of deceitful moral equivalence is as hysterical as it is pro-kidnapping. For the love of Christ, do the criminals know no shame? Now that's just sneeringly ad-hominem rationalizing. To oppose faith-based democracy is to hate America.

Thanks for the link, autopope. I think...
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Obsession? No, it's Alan Moore! (He knows the score...)

Danny O'Brien and Quinn Norton are the guest bloggers on Boing Boing for the moment. One of their first finds was this link, a set of annotations for Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's wonderful League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The current series, volume 2, is pitting Mina Harker and her compatriots against the Martian war machines that have arrived in Woking. It's a wonderful layered affair, mixing pulp fiction and history in a similar manner to Kim Newman's Anno Dracula novels. And that's where the annotations come in, extracting every fine bit of detail from Moore's story and O'Neill's art, educating and surprising as we travel through the interstices of history...

It's all superb stuff, and the annotations are incredibly researched and detailed,showing just how deep Alan Moore's research goes... And how much knowledge is to be found on Usenet...
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