1. Delivering some Lib-Dem leaflets on Sunday, 2 - count 'em - 2 houses on my round had Christmas trees or lights up. As well as this, I saw one on Saturday night in Oxford. In addition, one of the houses on Oxford Road in Abingdon that always has a completely over-the-top display of Christmas lights has got them up already - we saw them whilst out on our run tonight. Obviously you expect shops to have this but this is ordinary houses. It is the 23rd of November. There is over a month to go, for crying out loud.
Whilst coloured lights are a Good Thing (TM) and I can understand the desire to do something to cheer oneself up as the nights draw in, I cannot help thinking that the effect is probably going to wear off before too long.
Obviously, the 12 days of Christmas needs some extra lines, hence the title. I also submit '34 goths debugging' for your consideration.
2. The garage I normally take the car to could not interpret the codes returned from the EMU, therefore I will need to go to the Skoda dealer. I have got it booked in in a couple of weeks, when they have a courtesy car. When I spoke on the phone to the guy at the dealer he said 'I know this is going to sound odd, but check the brake lights are working'. I had already come across this theory (along with a number of others) on teh interweb and therefore wasn't surprised, and had checked the one visible if you turn round from the driver's seat. I have now, with the help of t__m__i, checked them all. They are working. Although the other fault is intermittent so maybe this one is as well. Ho hum.
I feel that this is probably karmic balance for the software I foist upon the world.
3. Delivering some more leaflets, this time in our road rather than my usual 'beat' I have made the bizarre discovery that two of the houses are the wrong way round. The houses in the road are numbered from 1 to n going clockwise when viewed from above. However, two of them are the wrong way round so it goes p, p+2, p+1, p+3. Everything was built at the same time so that cannot be the explanation.
4. Having returned to The Gap, the new story is 'the sizes change every year and we're not making your size this year'. Previous excuse 'it's yer trade embargo, innit?'. Clearly I am supposed to have got shorter or fatter, or not be planning to buy any Gap jeans this year (see prophesies, self fulfilling). I have ordered some from Land's End. Today they have sent me a postcard telling me what the website told me about them currently being out of stock, so they may not have completely got the hang of this internet thingy.
Amusingly, Tesco's had some 3 pounds a pair blue jeans 30 waist 34 leg which holds out the tantalising prospect that, if they have ones of dimensions waist = n, leg = n+4, then maybe if they had any with waist measurement between 30'' and 38'' in stock, that perhaps they might sell ones that would fit me. Then I could tut tut about how these evil supermarkets drive good old-fashioned jeans-wrights like Gap out of business by sneaky tactics of having things in stock of the sizes that people want to buy. However, keeping an eye on their stock would be too much effort.
5. I have a best of Kirsty McColl CD in the car. Listening to 'Walking on Madison' reminded me that, when I had the misfortune to work with Macs and Mac fans, I came up with the line 'From System 7 To Chapter 11, it aint so far'. Little did I know then that Apple would reinvent themselves as a maker of shiny things that don't support the UMS specification and destroyer of desktop Linux...
Of course, it is not just my own songs that lose their poignancy, 'The Space Race Is Over' by Billy Bragg no longer brings a tear to my eye, since clearly it isn't. Similarly, 'Video Killed The Radio Star', since it is increasingly clear that it didn't (and that TV is the new radio anyway).
It also has to be said that the end of 'Heartland' by The The no longer really works for me, thought it remains a fine song. Despite Leader Tone's brown-nosing of The Shrub, the 'this is the 51st state of the USA' stuff no longer rings true to me. Interestingly, in Souvenir of Canada 2, Douglas Coupland says that around the year 2000 Canadians stopped saying the same thing.
Of course, something that is almost unbearably poignant (which is not a phrase I use often, obviously) is Soho Square by Kirsty McColl on the same CD. Something with oboes and the line 'And you'll kiss me quick in case I die before my birthday' by someone who died a tragic and untimely death. What can one say? It brings the tear to the eye that Mr Bragg no longer commands.
It was on one of the iWord magazine cover CDs earlier this year, not a track that had invaded my consciousness before.
6. I have now read The Ophiuchi Hotline by John Varley, inspired by pmcray (who, along with daveon, also trades as atomicrazorfeed) who brought the fine phrase 'It's OK, I've got an adaptor' to my attention. This is the catchphrase we use when emailing each other about furries, otherkin etc. (perhaps I shouldn't have admitted that, I hope that pmcray doesn't mind me telling the world about this correspondence!).
The thing that struck me was how long it must have been since I last read an aliens'n'spacecraft SF novel, apart from the works of Iain 'not as good as without the' M. Banks. Years and years. Probably there is some strange edge case of a novel that I don't think of as having aliens and spacecraft, but actually did, a bit like the Robot Monkeys in Great Expectations.
7. It would be good if this were working up to some bizarre punchline, but actually I am going to bed.
34 furries yiffing
33 coke-heads sniffing...