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Little Good Things, Part Two

Finishing off the week...

- The unexpected arrival in the morning of the printed copy of our wedding photos album!

- Managing, after a year of much stress and long hours (and a month of bloody bonkers hours more recently) to actually get recognition for that in work and get the top performance grade for the first time in several years.

LJ Styles

I feel like changing my journal style, but the LJ style browser interface is just being a pain when I try to find something I like. It has a category for Modern but really what I want is something Retro.

Are there any decent styles out there for a Victorian/Edwardian feel?

My Idea of Fun

It occurred to me recently that for the past couple years I've inadvertently been doing something of a grand tour of UK BDSM clubs. Although I've probably been to less clubs than in previous years, the past two years have been noticeable more for the fact that I've rarely been to the same club even twice over that period.

This naturally led me to thinking about all the different clubs I've been to, and then on to the thoughts of what would make up my ideal club. In no particular order then...

The Good, The Bad, and The UglyCollapse )



Most people watch more television than they really want to. It's just one of those things that happens. Everyone has hobbies and interests, things they'd probably rather be doing than watching TV, but generally these things require more effort than just chilling in front of the box, and so some nights it's just easier to watch TV instead. So you end up doing the less-fun-thing, because it's easier than the thing you really want to do, and hey, at least it's still fun.

TV watching is just one example of this. Internet surfing is another, and is more my vice of choice for times when I'm too tired to put effort into enjoying myself.

But of course, I'm not actually here to talk about watching television.

Musings about D/s relationshipsCollapse )

Here's to watching less television.


Real-Life Moral Question

So I woke up this morning to discover water all over the floor of my shower room. It seems that one of my two toilets has sprung a leak. I've mopped up the mess and arrested most of the dripping, but here's the thing - I'm selling and moving out of this place in two days. So the question comes up - should I fix it or just leave it for the new owner?

Poll #1187569 What would you do?

What to do with leaky (but contained) plumbing just before you move out?

Get a plumber in yourself?
Leave it for the new owner to fix?
Leave it for the new owner, but also leave them some cash towards it?


tainted_angel83 and I have just returned from two weeks travelling around central Europe (Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, in that order), and have been off-line (and not following the news) the whole time. Unsurprisingly I'm not going to page back through the several hundred posts on my friends page in the past two weeks, so if anything happened in the past two weeks that I should know about, please help out below with facts and pointers!

Holiday review/pics may follow.

Music Facts

I joined Last.FM exactly one year ago today. In that time, it's logged me as listening to 19,201 tracks. That's a little over 52 a day. In fact, since I've only just got it working with my iPod, and of course it can't track at all things that I play on the stereo, the true figure is probably as much as 50% higher than that. Which considering there's 10,000 tracks in my iTunes, means I could have listened to each of them three times in the past year. As it is I suspect that there's a top 2,500 or so which make up 95% of what I listen to.

Public Service Announcment

If you're buying a copy of Marilyn Manson's new album Eat Me, Drink Me, I would advise you to avoid buying the "special edition" (if a non-special version actually exists).

This is because the two "bonus" tracks constitute disco/dancefloor remixes of current single Heart Shaped Glasses, and are so staggeringly bad as to make the album as a whole empirically worse by their inclusion.

Not that the whole thing was much good on first listen before it went all bleepy at the end anyway...

FICTION: Bluebelle (Part 2)

Part 1 here.

Getting the fiction muscles moving again is proving harder than expected. This one's running away with me and is now likely to be five parts in length. That is, assuming I ever figure out what happens in part three.

As before, be warned that this story is non-consensual in nature. As they used to say on TV - don't try this at home!

Cut for length and contentCollapse )


FICTION: Bluebelle (Part 1)

More fiction for those of you who enjoy that kind of thing. This is part one of (probably) four parts. I say probably because I haven't actually finished writing it yet.

Be warned that this story is non-consensual in nature.

Cut for length and contentCollapse )



Remember when I used to post fiction every Monday night? Yeah, neither do I. Anywhere, here's something rather D/s in mood. There might even be another one next week. I wouldn't hold your breath though...

Read more...Collapse )


From the Washington Post

JOHANNESBURG, March 28 -- Global health officials said Wednesday that countries with rampant AIDS epidemics should begin offering free or subsidized circumcisions in hopes of preventing millions of new infections and deaths.

The new recommendations, from the World Health Organization and the U.N. AIDS agency, came in response to growing evidence that removing a man's foreskin lowers his risk of contracting HIV by 60 percent. Circumcision campaigns could prevent 5.7 million new infections in Africa over the next 20 years, the agencies said.

"The evidence is really now quite conclusive that male circumcision is effective at preventing HIV among men," said Kevin De Cock, the top HIV-AIDS official for the World Health Organization, speaking in a conference call from Paris.

This is just total cognitive dissonance territory for me. Obviously reducing the spread of HIV is good, but ultimately part of what changes has to be behaviour. My worry would be that something like this would just lead men to see themselves as now "safe", leading to them carrying on being promiscuous (and of course the circumcision of men does nothing to reduce the infection rate in women). Plus I'm just opposed to genital mutilation on principle (for the Americans in the audience - male circumcision is basically unknown here outside of the Jewish community).

Interestingly the article doesn't note how many circumcisions are necessary to achieve that target for 5.7 million less infections.

A Quick CD Review

According to Amazon, people who bought many/most of the CDs I've bought recently also bought "Searching : Falling : Silence" by Imperial Vipers.

It would appear that people like me have terrible taste in music.



I've just had my eyes tested, usual routine check thing.

As part of this test it transpired that for a while - possibly for the whole of the last three years since my prescription was last updated - I've been wearing multi-focal contact lenses. My optician was confused by this (and so was I), and so in the absence of my old records he set out to find (as he put it) "any possible reason why you might need them". When as expected no reason transpired, we had the following exchange:

"So you wear these?"
"Err... yes"
"And it doesn't hurt?"
"You must have a high pain threshold"
"No, they really don't hurt at all"
"Maybe you just have really tolerant eyes"

He managed the same tone of total disbelieving incomprehension when after the old "flashlight in the eye" routine he had to conclude that doing so hadn't damaged my eyes in any way, either.

As far as results go, I guess this beats the one most contact lens wearers dread - that being the session where you get told your eyes are drying up and you need to go back to glasses. But it's hard not to be a little nervous about putting in another pair of the lenses which apparently should be causing me great pain and deforming my eyeballs.


Meme, stolen from leathermgoddess


The past couple of weeks, I've been listening to Hardcore Superstar a lot. They're a Swedish band, and for the life of me, I can't make any sense of their lyrics.

I figure that either they make sense in Swedish and have been badly translated, or maybe the band speak terrible English and this is the best they can do. Or maybe they're just so pared down that I'm trying to read them too literally...

I mean, seriously, what the fuck is this song about?

What do I have to do for you to let me
Lick you into something like paradise
Let me grab your neck and taste you honey
Pleasure without money
I love you when you touch yourself
Watch yourself express yourself with me
Let me grab your neck and taste you honey
Pleasure without money

You never said anything about love
I will never ever be true
I don’t wanna waste my time on you
Hey hey hear my pray
I gotta get loose

'Cause I use you as my ashtray

Hey hey hear my pray
I gotta get loose

‘Cause I sold my soul to rock ‘n' roll

I don’t need no immediate relation
Seems like a lot of women live close to desperation
Let me look into your eyes
Have you been around
Promiscuous clown
I don't want to repeat my life
You were my Monday, tomorrow’s Tuesday my love
If no woman’s around, a little sensation
Endless masturbation



A Modern Manners Question

I've recently got into the habit, when I sit down and have a cooked lunch, of having a glass of wine alongside it. Today, I'm working from home. And I'm having a cooked lunch.

So the question is:

When working from home, is it acceptable to have a glass of wine over lunch?

No way!

Sep. 14th, 2006

I read, with interest, a story in The Guardian today about men's health in their 30s. It seems that modern men are trying to carry on acting the way they did in their 20s for as long as they can - and many of them are giving themselves health problems as a result. The main problem seems to be a combination of the natural aging process, and the higher levels of stress that go hand in hand with being ten years older and (often) having a young family.

I'm certainly more conscious of my health these days than I've been in the past. I guess I kind of feel like I've had a soft landing. I know that I can't trust my body to just fix itself any more. So out went the cigarettes (still missed though), and I'm thinking more about what I eat, and walking more, and even starting to think about serious exercise.

But much like the men in the article, I can't seem to view myself as anything approaching old. I realised earlier this year that I am now within sight of an age I can remember my father being. And for all that everyone feels that they're growing up to become their parents, when I think back to how I remember my father being in his 30s, I can't help but feeling that I am still young, after all.

I just need more time to recover after going out clubbing because I wear myself out at work these days and so have less energy when the weekend starts, you see. Honest.

Let's get physical

I've thought before that if I could access LJ from work, and so had the time to blog more often, there would be a lot of posts in this journal that started "today, in The Guardian".

Anyway, yesterday, in The Guardian, there was an article about the declining numbers of people taking physics at both A-level and as a degree. This is a subject I take a bit of interest in, since my own failed experiment in trying to gain a degree involved reading physics (and indeed if it had been primarily about reading physics, I might have a degree).

Most of the article was what you'd expect - physics is dull, it's too hard, there aren't enough specialist teachers, and no-one wants to be a physicist anyway - but down towards the end there was a passage that seemed out of place, to me: "It may be that the education market will start naturally to correct itself; rising university fees may inspire a return to those subjects that increase a student's chances of actual employment." I mean, I don't disagree with the sentiment, but the implication that this would lead to a rise in physics students just doesn't follow, to me.

The reason I ended up studying physics was because I didn't have an idea what to do with my life, and the perception at the time (which still seems to persist to some degree) was that because physics was "hard", it was a better degree to have than the average. But the truth is it doesn't prepare you for any job other than being a physicist (which comes in three flavours - university lecturer, research scientist, and physics teacher). If I was 18 today, and considering what degree would maximise my employment chances, I'd probably end up doing Business Studies (my gut instinct was to say "or Computer Science", but apparently unemployment is rife in Comp Sci grads these days, so shows what I know.

The Idiocy of Crowds

Over the weekend I signed up to Last.fm (my profile, should anyone care). For those who don't know, this is a "music networking" site, where everything you listen to on your PC is logged and uploaded. The idea is that they then tell you what other people who listen to the same kinds of things as you in general are listening to, and in that way you find out about new bands.

They also have a feature where people have indicated other bands that they think sound kind of like such and such as band, which seems to work about as well as you'd expect.

Interestingly though, they have a third way to find new music, which is a funky Web 2.0 style "tagging" system. I've never really engaged with tagging systems, to be honest, but Last.fm's really seems to have all the problems I always worried such things would have.

Picking one song (not at random at all, but because the associated tags made me laugh), it appears that Heroine by the Dogs D'Amour is:

alternative rock
classic rock
female vocalists

Now, admittedly, the Dogs are one of those bands that are hard to categorise without resorting to micro-genres. Wikipedia says they can be described "as a mixture of Rolling Stones and Faces style roots rock and Hanoi Rocks style glam punk", and I think I can agree with that.

But frankly, everyone responsible for any of those tags other than the top two either has never heard the song in question, doesn't speak English, or needs to get out of the gene pool. Sadly there doesn't seem to be any way to vote down "bad" tags in the system.