Thursday, 28 February 2013

Outraged of Outer Space (Protesterphobia)

Hi there, I am ktglitz from Astral Body KTG23. I want to register my disgust at the way that humans are treating planet earth and propose that we get together and protest against what we shall call planetphobia. It is clear that the human race hates their planet and so we need to take a stand against them!

That sounded silly, right? Hang in there......

I am writing this blog entry to express my concern at the way the Protest Transphobia group is shaping up (or not). The group was flung together on the back of a couple of media articles in what has now become seen as ‘Burchill Gate’. There was a protest at the offices of the Guardian News Group standing against our transphobic media. This took place on 17th January and you can read my views on it here:

It was well meaning but.... trouble was/is, the media isn’t actually transphobic per se. There is a question of morality about whether or not the Burchill article should have been published but I don’t think any sane person could actually claim that the entire media is transphobic because this article was published.

I attended the protest out of interest and to show a little support, although I wouldn’t say I was actively protesting. It was quite well attended but for me it was a pointless exercise, especially as the paper in question had already removed the article and apologised for it. I did not attend the protest that happened later on at The Observer offices, neither did most of the people who were there at the first one. What does that tell you? The net result of these two protests was nothing. Trans people are still writing articles in the mainstream media, just as they were before the protest. The same people are still running the mainstream media too. Nothing has changed.

Now fast forward to two weeks ago. There was a report of a trans person being arrested and treated badly by the police. If you’ve missed this you can catch up at the following sites:

When these articles broke the Protest Transphobia group kicked into action with plans for a protest against the Transphobic Police. They set up an event called Protest Police Transphobia. Once again everyone was getting tarred with the same brush. The Police are no more transphobic by default than the media are. Sure there are some bad eggs in there but that doesn’t mean that it is institutional or even widespread.
Now on the face of it, the story that hit the headlines seems quite horrible. Scratch underneath the surface and there a LOT of questions that need answering. So what evidence do we actually have that this was a transphobic attack? For a start we don’t have any evidence at all that the victim identified as trans. We have a 19 second video clip that actually proves nothing other than confirming that the victim was indeed held on the floor by the Police. There is nothing in the clip that supports the transphobic claim. There are witnesses who claim the police shouted, “You're not normal. We'll let you get you up in a few minutes but you need to act like a normal human being.” Context has to come into question here. Were the police being transphobic and saying that the victim was not normal because she was trans, or was the comment about acting like a normal human being perhaps related to the victim’s state, given that she had just thrown up? Could the witnesses have misheard exactly what was said? Like I said, so many questions and nowhere is there a full start to finish detailed account of all the events that led up to this episode.

So, Protest Transphobia have created an event called Protest Police Transphobia. It was originally to be held at West End Central Police station. This was then changed to Charing Cross Police station. In actual fact it transpires that the arresting officers could have come from one of three stations, Charing Cross, Belgravia or Paddington. This means that there is only a one in three chance that the protest will even be at the correct Police station! If they pick the wrong one then it’s really a waste of time!

Then comes the question of whether or not the victim actually wants a protest to be carried out in her name. Protest Transphobia have not been able to establish contact with her to confirm one way or another whether she wants, supports, or is even comfortable with the protest. That doesn’t seem to bother Protest Transphobia though, as they believe that clearly the victim would want this to go ahead. I guess that they aren’t actually bothered if she doesn’t want a protest as they are going ahead regardless. There is a question of respect that could be raised at this point.

Next up, does the victim identify as trans? We don’t for sure that she does. A response from the Police on the incident indicated that they were referring to the victim as Mr as she hadn’t identified herself to them as trans, TV, TS, or TG. Another unanswered question in this whole thing.

For the record I have no love of the Police force in the UK. I still refer to them as the Ungovernable Farce (after the Conflict album of the same name). That said I have no desire to protest. I don’t believe the recent incident is an indication of institutional transphobia in the Police force. In fact, we aren’t really 100% certain that it was even a transphobic happening. Despite what the Protest Transphobia mob are trying to portray I have to say that I never felt safer around the Police here in the UK. If you’d asked me 20 years ago I would have said that I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them. I’ve never experienced any problems with the Police in relation to being trans. In all honesty I have never actually really experienced any problems with the Police at all! There are also a number of servants of the force that are actually trans. So how does that fit in with the protest? How will those trans Police officers feel know that their colleagues and employers are being labelled as transphobic?
If you want to talk about Police brutality and something to protest against then take a look at this, makes me very glad that I live in the UK!

So no dear readers, I won’t be protesting against a transphobic Police force for the same reason that I didn’t protest against a transphobic media. Simple reason, because they don’t exist. You can’t protest against something that isn’t there! I hear they are looking to protest against the Catholic Church and at Parliament, on what basis I have no ideas! Watch this space when more details appear (assuming they haven’t kicked me out of the group by then LOL).

For what it’s worth I do believe in the ideals of Protest Transphobia. I actually believe that they could be a force to be reckoned with if they appointed some sensible leadership and applied some rational thought to their approach rather than the gung ho, “let’s protest” approach. Not everything needs a protest, not everything is transphobic. There might come a day that something does come up that I truly believe qualifies for a protest and on that day I will be there offering my full support. Until then I shall stand on the sidelines, trying to offer sensible discussion and input

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

WFH, wound up, pizza disaster, Utopia and The Clone Wars!

Well it's certainly been an interesting day. For reasons that I won't go into I ended up working from home. This was good in that I got to spend the day with Toni in our office.

Work itself was relatively quiet and I even managed to get out of two meetings which just made it even better!

On the plus side Toni and I went to Coffee Town for lunch. You can't beat a nice lunchtime breakfast! Jamie came and joined us too which things even more pleasant.

On the downside I allowed myself to get wound up be someone who thought it was appropriate to take a sly cheap shot at me on Facebook. Not only was it completely unnecessary but it was also untrue. There will be more on this nonsense in another blog (probably tomorrow).

It was decided that we would order pizza for dinner. Papa Johns was ordered for Sam and Aaron and Toni and I went for Pizza Hut's gluten free option. Just after both orders had been placed and paid for, I received a phone call from Pizza Hut to say they were out of gluten free pizza bases.

To make matters worse, not only they were unable to source additional stock from a store round the corner (or transfer the order elsewhere) but they couldn't give me a refund either. Instead I have to phone their head office tomorrow to arrange the refund. So Toni and I had no food and no refund, NOT IMPRESSED!

We opted for kebabs in the end bit it didn't really satisfy in the way our pizzas might have!

Entertainment was a combination of Being Human and Big Bang Theory. Toni had to pop out to see Leanne for some reiki so Sam and I managed to catch up on the final three episodes of Utopia. What a series and a great finish. I really hope they do a second series!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was up next. I'm not sure if I like it or not. It's Star Wars so that immediately makes me want to earn to it. There are niggly little things that bother me but.... It's Star Wars! This is probably why I can actually watch The Phantom Menace more than once, it's Star Wars! Star Wars is like bacon, it trumps everything!

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Monday, 25 February 2013

Back to the grind stone

Well after a great week off and awesome birthday weekend it was back to the grind stone today. The train was packed and arrived late at London Bridge so of course I was delighted to be going back to work LOL

It was a good day though. Nice and slow, no pressure and free from idiots and puppet shows. It was the perfect start to the week!
It was so nice to have time off but it went way too quickly. I really didn't want to go back to work.

Even after the day was over I still wished I hadn't had to. Still, it keeps a roof over our heads, puts food on the table and allows us to have nice things.

Due to a dodgy download being made available we weren't able to watch last nights Being Human so we resorted to another massive dose of Big Bang Theory. We will soon be done with Season 5 and then we'll be almost up to date. It's going to be horrible when we finally catch up and have to wait for each weekly episode (when they come back off of break)!

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Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Dogs D'Amour @ The Borderline

This was part of my birthday present! Toni had got us tickets to see The Dogs D'Amour at The Borderline. This was the definitive (rather than original) line up of the band back together again after MANY years! Tyla, Jo, Steve and Bam!

There was no support act tonight, so we indulged in some Jeremiah Weed Sour Mash while we waited.

After a 45 minute wait the band hit the stage. OMG it was take no prisoners time! We were treated to an hour and forty minutes of awesome rock and roll. This was like an ultimate greatest hits party with a couple of quality new songs thrown in for good measure!

See all The Dogs D'Amour pics here: 23/02/12 The Dogs D'Amour @ The Borderline

How Come It Never Rains

Here's the full set list:
Last Bandit
Firework Girl
Kid From Kensington
Wait Until I'm Dead
Everything I Want
Flame Boy
Billy Two Rivers
All She Ever Wanted
Medicine Man
Ballad Of Jack
Livin' On
Victims Of Success
Trail Of Tears
How Come It Never Rains
Drunk Like Me
Baby Glass
No Gypsy Blood
What You Do
Satellite Kid
I Don't Want You To Go

Birthday stuff!

Well today is my birthday and as usual lots of good things were happening.

Sam made tea first thing and I was treated to these little delights:

After a few epiodes of X-Men Toni, Sam and I headed into Eltham on the bus and went to Ziyafet for a birthday meal.

Sam had the chicken shish:

Toni and I shared the Ziyafet Special! It might not look much but there is a LOT of food on that plate!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Star Trek: Voyager, pink hair and Schattenspiel

There was no rush to get up today, just because! The day was kick started with multiple episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. I had forgotten just how brilliant this series was.

I was tasked with colouring Toni's hair for her today. The results were excellent!

Toni and I then got the glad rags on to head up to London to visit the Elixir Bar and the one off special night Schattenspiel.

On the train!

We had a couple of normal drinks when we arrived and then we discovered this little beauty! Oh my goodness, heaven in a bottle!

We somehow managed to force ourselves to drink a whole bottle! *grin* It was absolutely delicious and we shall be searching it out to get some for home! We had a good night, there was some good music and the Wikinger Blut certainly helped thing along!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

CV and job hunting plus more Big Bang Theory

No, not for me so you can all stop panicking back in The Gherkin LOL! I spent a chunk of today helping Aaron get his CV in to shape. It's always difficult building that first one when you have no experience to draw upon. We did get something put together though.

Next phase was helping him do some online job hunting. We went to a lot of sites, both generic job sites plus individual companies but part time jobs suitable for a student were few and far between. We did manage to track down a few which he has now applied for. He now has that unenviable task of constantly checking to see of any more have come up and applying for them until he actually gets and interview and finds employment. Watch this space!

The rest of the day was spent watching more Big Bang Theory! Yup, you guessed it I haven't become bored of it yet. It's a great show, so well written and consistently funny! We all love it!

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Late start, allo Scoglio, back to London

There was no rush to get up today so we didn't! It's quite a novelty having time off and not doing very much so it was a late start for us. We got up just before Pam's nephew Steven arrived with his wife Anne.

We then piled into our cars and headed off to the centre of Bexhill to have lunch at La Trattoria.

We've eaten there before and it's just wonderful food. I went for the Spaghetti allo Scoglio (gluten free to boot) which was just seafood to die for. Even better was getting to sample various veal offerings that both Sam and Jade were having. This was followed up by coffee and lemon sorbet! Oh yes!

After the delicious noms it was all back into The Beast and a return to Londinium! We had a great time, ate some great food and had a nice couple of days away. Toni and Gemima got down to some knitting while Sam and I watched Once Upon A Time.

A healthy dose of Big Bang Theory season 2 followed interspersed with the latest episode of Being Human.

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Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bexhill, fish and chips and Car Wars

After a quick breakfast we loaded up The Beast and Toni, Sam, Jade, Aaron, Gemima and I headed off to Bexhill-on-Sea to visit Pam. We made good time and so were able to have a massive chill out once we arrived. I got loads of reading done which was great as I always seem to get distracted and not read enough. I've nearly polished off the first of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series. I've read it many times before but it's still a great book.
Pam treated us to fish and chips for dinner so we went to her usual restaurant for a very nice meal. Grilled cod for me which was gorgeous and I felt so much batter eating it without the batter.
We too a slow stroll back along the sea front and then various activities took place. I watched a bit of the Arsenal v Bayern Munich game before Sam, Aaron and I built up some custom vehicles, armed them and hit the area for a bout of Car Wars. This was no video game but the old Steve Jackson Games board game. It's been years since I've played this and I'd forgotten how much fun it can be.
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Monday, 18 February 2013

Big Bang day!

Today was spent mostly watching Big Bang Theory. This was one of the shows that had somehow passed me by so I was making up for lost time as we burned through the whole of season 1 and into first few episodes of season 2.

Toni went and picked up Jade and we were then treated to Jade's garlic and tomato chicken dinner and rice.

We caught up with WWE Elimination Chamber which was a mixed bag. Great to see The Shield pick up a pleasing but unexpected victory over Cena, Ryback and Sheamus. These guys are being used well and I hope their story develops much further before the inevitable break up of the group to allow people to pursue solo careers. Less good was having to watch the travesty that was (c)The Rock beating CM Punk once again. The sooner the (c)Rock buggers off back to Hollywood the better!

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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Taking it easy,coffee, comedy, chocolate coffee cake and kebabs

Following the antics of the previous night was a day to take things easy. We drank lots of coffee and watched various episodes of comedy shows. Sadly some of them hadn't aged as well as I had believed.

Sam remained in a culinary mood and whipped a wonderful chocolate cake with coffee butter icing. This was absolutely gorgeous.

We dropped Tamsin back home in the early evening and then went home and had kebabs.

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Saturday, 16 February 2013

All in for a full house!

It was a bit of a house full today. We had Aaron and Michaela making a rare but welcome visit along with their friend Brandon. Toni, Sam and I were there and adding to our number was our friend Tamsin who was over for the night.

Toni and Sam made a gorgeous beef curry that was well received by everybody. We even had home made naan bread (both glutinous and gluten free).

There was music, there was drinking, there was talking, there was laughter. Lots of laughter. It was a brilliant night!

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Friday, 15 February 2013

....and we're out of here!

Last day of work today before taking a week off. Had to spend the morning in the office for various meetings but did get to leave early spend the afternoon working from home. Thankfully it was a that was smooth running and stress free.

It was my turn to cook and I created some spiced butterfly chicken with pommes frites. Yes I know, it was chicken and chips LOL I did however get some inspiration for home made kebabs at some point in the near future,

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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

To my beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful wife Toni!
I love you so very very much!

Forever and ALLways

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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Falling down

Let me start by reassuring you that I have not had a trans crash or anything like that. This isn't about stumbling in my journey or being sad.

The title is in reference to the Michael Douglas film Falling Down. I had one of those days at work that just made me want to go postal. It was full on and in my mind I could quite happily have dished out some mighty destruction!

Things started badly with a minor fix then causing no end of problem and potentially taking our testing back weeks. It seems that certain people were definitely at home to Mr Cock Up. To make matters worse another problem arose and I was informed at the only way around it would be to wind our database back to the previous version and upgrade it again which would have meant that we lost three months worth of test data and configuration.

Thankfully a few stern words resulted in a modified script and no need to reset our database which was a great relief. The fix to the problem came quickly too. The plan had been to release today but that had now been pushed out to Friday at the earliest due to us lacking confidence in the build process. So that was my morning taken care of.

Switch to the afternoon and my favourite product. We have one issue that still remains unresolved after a week. It's been failed on numerous occasions. Apparently today it was decided that the problem wasn't with the code but that we clearly had a corrupt environment that we were testing in. What the f***! There was a lot of wasted time and effort as a a manager spent hours observing what other people were doing but offering no practical help whatsoever to resolve the issue. Next stage was me getting a new environment built.

Once this was done the problem still remained so it was (to me at least) very clear that this was NOT an environment issue. This didn't change the theory though. I then started getting extra cobblers about other theories on why this wasn't working. Again they were related to the environment but appeared to be wild shots in the dark to deflect from the fact that the devs were just unable to work out was going on and make the scrutiny be on my team rather than them. Tomorrow I will be created yet another environment to try and prove once and for all that its crap code that is the issue!

Very grumpy an pissed off I left the office much later than planned. To cheer myself up we watched Falling Down. It was actually quite therapeutic in a bizarre way and I was left feeling so glad that although I'd had a bad day at least I wasn't driven insane and pushed to the edge like William 'D-Fens' Foster.

I promise not to go in to the office tooled up though, just in case there is another day like today! ;o)

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Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The memory remains....

..... Well actually it doesn't and no I am not on some weird Metallica kick!!

PC freezing problem started again this morning after a nice long trouble free period. Did my usual hard drive checks and everything appeared to be OK but no boot up. Tried booting into a Linux Mint distro and still nothing so it had to be memory rather than disks. Pulled out 4GB of RAM and boot up was successful with 4GB remaining. Put in 6GB and all was still good. Went back to 8GB and nada.

Sadly this means that I'll have to put up with running with 6GB until pay day when I can replace the knackered memory. As a result of this I started doing a lot more monitoring of CPU and memory usage.

It's quite incredible how many program's are really badly written and hog an extraordinary amount of memory. Google Chrome is a particularly bad offender although I suspect it's all the sites that rely on Flash and Java plug-ins that start to bloat things so I shall investigate further.

Web developers are so lazy these days. Most of them never had to streamline their design to cater for the lowest common denominator which was a 14 or 28K dial up modem. The same applies to modern programmers too I guess looking at some of the memory bloat that goes on when a relatively simple program is launched. Disabling lots of superfluous start up items and we were running well with much more free memory and less CPU problems!

So that's my tech rant over for today!

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Monday, 11 February 2013

Snow, good journeys and Being Human

This was the view from the bedroom window at 2am this morning. It was falling pretty heavily and settling nicely. Yes I know I should have been asleep but I had decided to stay up and watch New York Rangers play and was treated to a great game and a 5 - 1 victory over Tampa Bay Lightning. I have to admit that I was a little concerned about the snow and whether or not the world would fall apart when it was time to go to work.
Thankfully my fears were unfounded. All the buses and trains were running fine and I had a nice clear journey to the office. It was also a good day in the office. There was some pretty heavy snow around The Gherkin but none of it settled and getting home was just as easy as the journey in. Result!

Got home, skirt on, ate home made curry and then it was time to relax. I was absolutely knackered after staying up until silly o'clock to watch the hockey. A bit of Being Human and a nice cup of tea helped us to wind down before we headed off for an early night. It's a shame that this is going to be the last series as I love it but they are definitely going out with a bang and in style. A week seems such a long time to wait for the next episode!

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Star Wars original theatrical versions and feeling great

Having recently watched the entire Star Wars on saga on Blu-Ray with all of Mr Lucas' special effects and additions , tidying up and generally meddling I had decided to set about getting hold of the Limited Edition versions of the original trilogy DVDs that came with the original theatrical versions as a bonus disc. The power of eBay made this possible:

A full set acquired we then embarked on a wonderful nostalgic journey. It was just like being a kid again and going to the cinema all those years ago! So nice to see things like Han Solo shooting first once again and no dodgy CGI Jabba The Hut in A New Hope and of course the Yub Nub song as part of the Ewok celebration at the end of Return Of The Jedi (shamefully stripped out from the latest Special Edition version and replaced with rubbish). If you are a fan of the Star Wars Universe and don't have the original theatrical editions then you should do yourself a favour and go out and get them. Much as I love what George has done to the films over the years you still can't beat going back to where it all began......

On a personal note I am pleased to report that following on from my blip on Wednesday I have bounced back good and strong and am now feeling great. KT has been in full effect since then and will be continuing to do so from now on in!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Crimping and a night with T

Today was a hair day, a good hair day! Toni and I decided to go 80s style and crimp each other's hair. The results were absolutely awesome!

After a relaxing afternoon we then got changed and headed out to Anerley to spend the evening with our friend T. We had a good time, a very good time. Eight hours of drinking wine, eating nibbles, listening to music and generally chatting about anything and everything.

Friday, 8 February 2013

WFH, skirts and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

It was a good day today. Working from home in the comfort of a skirt always puts a smile on my face :o)

Quiet day of work which made a pleasant change. Toni made a lovely fish soup with rice noodles for lunch which was much better than my usual Cup A Salt!

After work I had a rare treat and a managed to get a copy of the old Lucasarts Star Wars game Dark Forces running on my PC. It used to be one of my favourite games. Despite it's age it is still great fun to play!

Didn't play it for long but I shall be dipping in from time to time for a bit of nostalgia. I'll be digging out a few old DOS PC classics over the next few weeks.

A quick catch up with Vampire Diaries and we moved on to some more nostalgia. Having watched the film recently we cracked out the old TV series of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Although the film had its moments it was not a patch on the TV show (which itself was based on the fantastic radio show).

Marvin The Paranoid Android was wonderful

Saying that, the Marvin character was pulled of beautifully by Alan Rickman in the film version.

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