Since I very sadly depleted all of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis’s episodes, I have been watching a mixture of Pushing Daisies and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Pushing Daisies is bizarre. In some ways it really grates on me but in other ways I like it. Overall it is watchable and you will enjoy much of it while at the same time it will slowly drive you insane. I wish it tried less hard to be quirky, I wish that the two main characters weren’t individually annoying and collectively even more annoying, and last but not least, I wish that the strong intelligent female characters weren’t completely undermined by spending 90% of their camera time with their chests exploding from their dresses.

The Next Generation: Ok, I’m a bit confused here because I remember TNG from when they used to show it on BBC2 after The Simpsons, and I seem to remember it being decent television, whereas I’m up to series 2 now and the ratio of good to bad episodes is pretty dubious. I guess that later series get better, but the first two are really not great. I suspect that it would have been cancelled early on were it not for the terrific acting from Patrick Stewart, Levar Burton and Brent Spiner (Picard, Geordi and Data) injecting a lot of life into the episodes and characters regardless of the dubious writing. For example I don’t think many actors could rescue the idea of their character negotiating with a talking oil slick.

My particular favourite WTF is the entire character of Troi. Ok, so I am an adult, I realise the entire point of Troi is to wear tight clothes and emphasise her ample bosom, but really ignoring that, her whole character is just a waste of space. She basically sits on the bridge and earns her place there by using her psychic mind reading powers to make such insightful observations as “I sense much aggression” after someone threatens violence, “I sense much jealousy” after a man gets snappy when someone else mentions a woman he stares at a lot, or “I sense that he is a charming rogue” after being presented with a charismatic and apparently friendly man who flies alone on a spaceship and dresses like Han Solo.

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Job adverts

On Hacker News there is a particular kind of post that reads “X is hiring” with a link to the company’s hiring page. There’s one company that has posted several times in the past few weeks. I wish that “X is hiring” posts were open for comments, because sometimes it seems like employers need feedback on their terrible job adverts, and this company is clearly confused why they are advertising on a forum frequented by some of the most talented programmers around but they still aren’t getting the response they want.

Here’s the ad:

I wouldn’t apply anyway because I have no desire to live in London, but anyway:

1. The salary is ‘competitive’. What does it compete with? Does it win? I’m guessing the answer is no, otherwise you’d just give a number.

2. “Unlimited vacation time”. Really, your employment contracts guarantee your employees unlimited holiday?

3. “beer together as a company on Fridays”. Mandatory fun is a turn off at the best of times, but here you’ve managed to make me feel uncomfortable about applying for a job as a software developer not because I might lack the skills or experience to do the job, but instead because… I don’t drink?

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Student loans

In case you missed it, the government recently tried to privatise student loan debt but Vince Cable torpedoed it. It seems rather ironic that one of the first things this government did was to increase tuition fees to the utterly ridiculous figure of £9000 per year, and now, towards the end of their term, they come out with the revelation that the money they are lending to allow people to pay for it isn’t getting paid back. Economic genius George Osbourne at work.

I see the following possibilities:

1. Conservatives are obsessed with privatising things to the point of it being some form of mental disorder.

2. The government has quite happily allowed overall profits to increase but for less and less of that money to end up in the pocket of the average worker, and has not considered how that might impact student loans which are paid back monthly as a small percentage of salary.

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Ain’t no party like a communist party

I was reading the Guardian (first mistake) and noticed on one of the articles about the Malaysian plane crash a commenter was staunchly defending Russia. I looked a bit closer and it’s very interesting – – he has a British sounding name and yet his comment history is formed entirely of defending Russia and attacking Ukraine on news stories about Russia.

Remember when the internet wasn’t full of people being paid to spread propaganda? I liked it back then. Let’s go back to that.

It makes you wonder – how do the putinbots* come up with these identities? It’s called ‘Chris Leach’ and it has a photo. Is Chris Leach a real person, and is that his photo? If so, how does he feel about those comments being posted against his name and photo? What happens when a future employer googles his name and sees him going off on one about how evil western europe is and how we need to be liberated by the peaceable Russian military? The web is a scary place. Originally it was always advised that you didn’t place any personal information or photos on the web. Back then, people followed the advice and it was paranoia. Right now, nobody follows it, but ignoring it is more dangerous than ever.

*and let’s face it, it’s not just Russia doing this.

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British Problems

1. Judge is appointed to head up investigation on widespread child abuse among ‘the establishment’.
2. Said judge is forced a few days later to step down from investigation due to being closely related to members of said establishment who may have been involved with covering it all up in the first place.

It’s all a little bit farcical.

The child abuse thing is just as baffling to me within Britain as I imagine it is to anyone getting the select highlights outside of Britain. The only explanation I can offer is that the British upper classes tend to come from a fairly small genetic pool.

In other news, what else did David Icke get right? Imagine if they really are lizards! We’ll feel like right idiots then.

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Alone :\

1. I have the house to myself this week. It feels very weird already. A few days is ok but a week seems like a very long time. I guess that I will just be getting used to it by next Friday and then my tranquil utopia will be shattered again. It is strange though. At the moment, I wish I had a dog.

2. My glute strengthening is off to a good start. Today let us just say my gluteus maximus is rather sore. I am very surprised by this and it shows they really are weak. I was doing the resistance band hip extension exercise for the last week or so, but when I really really paid attention, I realised it was my hamstrings doing all the work, not my glutes. Yesterday I tried it a few times throughout the day without the resistance band, but making sure I was contracting my glutes before starting. This morning I woke up with a rather sore arse. It’s pretty sensitive. It seems amazing that some very light exercise has done this. You would think that with running frequently they would be, well, at least a bit strong, but apparently they really aren’t used to doing anything at all. I’m pleased with this because it gives me something very definite I can work on quite easily, and maybe this is finally the real source of my knee problems. It would also explain some of my chronic muscle tightness, if those other muscles are doing work that the glutes should be.

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Running last night: 1.3 miles and it was a disaster. It started off ok, but then my knee started hurting (inner side, maybe slightly at the back) and it wasn’t getting any better. I tried some 100m strides instead and gave up after the third one.

I’ve been having trouble with this knee on and off for what seems like forever now, and it amazes me that it still manages to throw new situations at me. I’ve never had pain that worsens WHILE running, and I’ve never had this particular pain in this particular location. It also felt very tight on the inside of my leg, just above the knee, when walking back, which I haven’t felt before.

It is very difficult to stick to any form of consistent rehab plan when the symptoms seem to change rapidly… but I am going to stick to glute max/med strengthening for now. I also might try some stability shoes although I don’t expect them to help.

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