thread So... Iain Banks then
.... I only ever read one of his.


EDIT: on a brighter note, work have given me an HP ElitePad to play with for a week to see how it goes, it has full windows 8 on it.. seems pretty good actually... a lot better than I expected.
permalink Read the rest

(which one have you read?)
permalink espedair street.
..
permalink I read that
in a day I think

Start at The Wasp Factory and work your way forward, there is a definite progression in his work
permalink Exactly this.
Plenty there to go at.
permalink sad sad stuff.
I think I've read pretty much all of them.
permalink Is it cynical to think he might have announced his impending death,
to get sales up before he dies, so that a chunk of income arrives before probate begins? Most people would rather keep it to themselves I'd have thought.
I can't immediately see a tax advantage, but then I'm too lower class to understand tax avoidance, apparently.
permalink It would probably be advantageous that his estate received it
after he died.. as that wouldn't get inheritance tax.
permalink That was my initial thought,
and in retrospect I wish I'd kept the idea to myself.
permalink It only helps with tax if you know at least two years ahead that you're going to die.
Even then, you have infinitely more important things to think about.
permalink I've not read any
I'm told I really should.
permalink You have less chance
of falling behind now
permalink I don't really like the normal fiction ones
just never got on with them. the sciffy is brilliant in places. still. shame.
permalink is my signed copy of Look or Windward going to be worth anything now?
permalink I think the only signed one I have is Feersum Endjinn
....
permalink I have Excession
Signed by Skaffen Amtiskaw
permalink I have Consider Phlebas
signed by GSV Irregular Apocalypse
permalink These are all made up,
shirley?
permalink Nope . .
http://en.wikipedia.or...
permalink Goodness.
I will have to get into these.
However, given my current seeming inability to pick up a book, it seems unlikely.
permalink They're characters
And all names are made up.
permalink Definitely read some more.
His early stuff is particularly good.
permalink Oh :(
I'm currently listening to Feersum Endjinn, then I'll have finished the sci-fi lot. I'll have to start on his non-sci-fi.

edit: It's just taken over half an hour to reboot my work PC.
permalink I'm thinking of
nuking Austria.
permalink there are still a couple of his non-sci fi ones I haven't read yet
but all the others are fantastic, and the M stuff has always been my favourite sci-fi.

Am really saddened to hear the news...no more Culture
permalink Maybe someone else
will take up the baton?
thread Established Middle Class
. . . I was aiming for Elite

http://www.bbc.co.uk/n...

Also: this is absolutely fucking terrible news: http://www.littlebrown... (thanks to Staticgirl on twitter)
permalink I'm elite.
If I do the test again and pretend I'm not married I'm a new affluent worker.
permalink House ownership is a big factor, I think,
plus I know lots of electricians and the like, which seems to skew it massively, which is rather absurd.
I'm apparently an emergent service worker, which sounds like balls to me. If you read their descriptions of each group I'm either established middle class, or new affluent workers, but the fact that I know some tradespeople and rent appears to scupper my aspirations completely.
permalink I'm not sure how to respond.
I don't really understand the prattlings of the lower classes.
permalink But you live in
Wigan...
permalink He is
the King of Wigan
permalink Yet unable to understand
his subjects
permalink Seems like monarchy
to me
permalink I know! What larks. It's like Shameless Live!
Streeview has been updated: http://goo.gl/maps/Xb7hj
permalink Quality Wigan in the window there. Well done.
And I see the WRS peeking over the fence...
permalink Thank you. If you look closely you can just about see the outline of a person
through a window. That's me saying "Was that the google car? I hope not, the windows are filthy!"

Thankfully it's not that high resolution.
permalink given that the electricians probably earn more than you
it's all a bit skewed
permalink Fair point.
Well made.
permalink It is all wage.
Put in a wage of over £100k and give yourself cock all for the rest.

ELITE!
permalink Do you think knowing a tea expert on Fortum's shop floor
counts as knowing a shop assistant?

I got established middle class too. Not much of a surprise.
permalink It appears to be entirely down to wage for Elite.
I own a house and have savings - next week I intend to put some of my savings into my mortgage - at that point I will become middle class again.
permalink It's not wage alone.
`
permalink Put in a high wage, expensive house and high savings and leave the rest blank.
Elite.
permalink 100k
and leave the rest of it as nothing.
permalink I suspect it's just savings
as my household wage isn't vastly high and my house is very cheap.

edit: the household wage is in the middle, which is more than most.
permalink if we combine household income we are elite
.
permalink After tax?
permalink ah no..
in that case...
"if you pretend we make shitloads more that we do then we are elite"
permalink Oh I didn't notice that,
I have no idea how much I earn after tax.
permalink that's the trick
if you're posh, you don't pay any tax, it's all done through the Caymans
permalink It's normally how much washes up in your bank account each month,
multiplied by twelve.
Unless you're self-employed, which, come to think of it, you might be.
permalink I'm not, but I don't get to the end of my money
at the end of the month, so I don't pay attention.
permalink Also there's no housing option
for 'sponge off boyfriend'
permalink "sponge off boyfriend"
sounds like a fairly kinky bedroom practice.

Or something you do when the boyfriend has a fever, perhaps.
permalink He wishes
etc etc
permalink my brother is a personal injury lawyer's assistant.
I put solicitor, piss-artist wasn't an option.
permalink My dad's a solicitor but I don't know him socially
Al's dad is an ex-lorry driver but I don't know him socially either. although I do socialise with them.
permalink oo, what sort of
solicitor?
permalink Commercial conveyancing
but can probably give advice on other scenarios, what's your problem?
permalink I've found a lot of people who
know commercial conveyancers :) I'll FB you.
permalink No wockas.
He's got a resi conveyancer working for him as well.
permalink Elite.
That said, I found the 'do you socially know' question odd - I know all of those groups and would have thought that everyone would?
permalink Not socially.
I don't know any lorry drivers or electricians. Obviously I know an electrician, I've had one in my house for a few days recently, but I don't socialise with him.
permalink I guess I am just more social than you?
Not socialist though.
permalink I guess so.
`
permalink if I could get away with it
I wouldn't socialise with anyone. I live next door to an electrician though.
permalink Established middle class
i came out as traditional working class, but then realised I missed out the salary question.
permalink I'm Elite
Apparently cos I have a mortgage and have friends from other social classes
permalink I was technical middle class
because I know a poor person.

[edit] i like the way secretary and nurse have the same effect on score as cleaner and farm worker.
permalink my butler
says he is working class and wont comment on my status
permalink interesting, if I
say I own a house I'm established middle class, but if I rent I'm an emergent worker.

It didn't give me the option of owning AND renting though. Like @tkingdoll said 'I did that and it put me in Slytherin'
permalink And there is no accounting for
age.
permalink Yet the descriptions of the different classes
state an average age.

I am now prepared to call the whole exercise bullsh1t.
permalink Likewise.
permalink Ditto,
if we lived with partners, the household income would double and we'd be middle class. Who knew class was predicated on marital status?
permalink Well
I did.
permalink I know a couple of
unmarried toffs, one has a title and everything, and not even a crappy one, he's a Viscount.
permalink his his nickname 'minty'
....
permalink Sadly not.
I haven't spoken to him in years actually, I knew him when I was selling shooters.
He got me a new job, which was horrible and I walked out, and he took this as a personal slight and chewed me out a bit.
He might have been promoted to Earl by now.

edit: nope, no promotion yet, although he will be doubly earled when he gets bumped up. He has become engaged, which is preposterous, as he was clearly very gay.
permalink You still able to get shooters cheap?
I fancy a new toy.
permalink There is no such thing as cheap shooters.
The margin in the gun trade is almost nothing.
The company I worked for used to sell new guns at cost, and then take their retrospective discount in merchandise every year, and call that their profit.
Unsurprisingly they went bust, and one director is in clink as a result of having kept two sets of accounts, and the other ran off to South Africa.
permalink However, I may still be able to help a little bit,
what did you have in mind?
If it's something old and exciting, I may be of more help.
permalink Old and exciting appeals.
My old man has a 16 bore Purdy by Evans - I have always sort of just thought 'one day', but he seems intent on staying alive.
permalink Seeing as it's you, I can correct you terrible errors.
1. It's spelt Purdey.
2. Purdey had next to nothing to do with the manufacture of any of the Purdey by Evans ones, and there's no quality comparison of any sort. Actually some of them may have been engraved by Purdey staff, but apart from that. I suspect it's worth comparatively little, I'm afraid.

What you want to do is take a trip to Spalding. Bill Elderkin is the man for old esoteria for all budgets, his shop is fantastic, and he's an utterly lovely chap. He's definetely the man for a decent Purdey that you actaully want to use yet not shell out a kings' ransom for.
Local to you, I assume you know not to trust the lot from Paignton. Ladd's are better, but not by a massive margin.

edit: I don't mean to malign your father's gun, it's almost certainly a top notch bit of kit, but it's regarded in a different league by the trade. I'd always buy Birmingham if I wanted to use it, London if I wanted it to retain value.
permalink It is not an Evans of Purdey, the spelling of which I blame on Apple,
It is branded James Purdey, but I havevslays been told that it was worked on by William Evans before he left for Holland and Holland. My friend Lewis worked at H&H for a spell, before going Gilly.

It is not one of a pair, but a stand alone gun (although I suspect it was a third to a pair) specifically built for one of the grand folk who blew his left arm off.

I know Ladds, but I tend to browse the largest gun shop in Europe, which is in Exeter. They have all sorts of crap in there, from 9mms through to 50cals
permalink Ah! I was thinking of the sort of brand engineered ones they did at one point.
Come to think of it that may not have been Evans.

The largest gunshop in Europe is The Sportsman of Paignton, as was. Gary, I believe the bloke's name is. They bought out Litt's for whom I used to work, but prior to that when I was in the wholesale side of the trade, and before they got as big as they are now, the Sportsman were horrifically dodgy grey importers and delinquent payers.
Quite a lot of the crap they have now was probably dug out of Litt's Newport store, that place had some terrible old crap in it.
I used to run their second shop in Berkshire, but that shut down pretty much when I left, and the whole shooting match (badum tish) fell apart about 18 months later.
permalink Ah! They are in Exeter now.
They are for the wrong sort of shooter, but I got a nice 9mm for my kids there for £100, which was okay and they sell cheap plastic wadding shells for when I am using my trap.

I haven't bought fibre ones there, I get them online somewhere, the same place as my brass 9mm ones.
permalink Well, so long as it does not
scare the horses.
permalink I did, but then I married out of my class.
`
permalink The other thing everyone's forgetting
is very true saying "you can't change your class, but you can change the class of your children"
permalink Indeed, which brings up the dilemma of which school to send any kids we have to
We live in a working class area so sending them to a private school might be the way to go. Not because working class is bad, but it'd broader their social horizons.
permalink hmmm
I went to nob school for a period, and I wouldn't say it broadened my social horizons, in the class sense. Probably the opposite. It did mean mixing with people from lots of different countries, though, which was good.
permalink Whereas I think nob school was most likely beneficial for me.
I suspect I wouldn't be as happy mingling outside my class, as comfortable with public speaking or as able to wear a suit as I am.

Perhaps social horizons was the wrong term, I meant that going to school outside of one's normal class is probably beneficial.
permalink my nob is very well-schooled.
:)
permalink I'll have my people fill that in for me after luncheon.
....
permalink it says elite for me
but my pie looks far more like the technical middle class one
permalink Established middle class
now there's a fecking surprise...
permalink Emergent service worker
Although i don't recall having serviced anyone recently...
thread Time for a new thread?
Have we all read about the fish?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/n...
I find this more concerning than the horse business, and I'll tell you for why.
I have for some time avoided buying cod in the chipshop even though I prefer it to haddock, on the basis that cod stocks are low, and if I do my bit to reduce demand, it might all be OK. Now it turns out that this was a waste as I probably ended up with some chinese stuff either way.
Having said that, I always go to a good quality chippie, so perhaps it wasn't a problem?

AQ: Everyone have a good weekend?
permalink I think it just goes to prove
that fish tastes like fish when coated in batter and fried within an inch of its life

Disclaimer - I dislike fish in all forms
permalink Ah, but yes, but no, but.
Can you not tell the difference between cod and haddock from a decent chippie?
It's probably all the same difference though, if you don't go to a decent chippie, it's over cooked dodgy chinese stuff, if you go to a decent one, it's done properly, from reputable sources.
permalink Interestingly, and unsurprisingly I have a few problem with what you've put.
Firstly it's Vietnamese, not Chinese.

Secondly it's farmed therefore having a beneficial impact on said cod stocks. Farming not unlike all those lovely prawns most people eat which they farm on the rice paddies when the rice has been harvested.

Here in China, seafood is eaten, but they tend to prefer their own freshwater fish (all to do with Seafood being "cold" and freshwater fish being "hot" (I can' pretend to know an awful lot about this), therefore you get alot of Tilapia, catfish and such. Even the crabs tend to be freshwater caught, such as the famous Hairy Crabs.

I myself have enjoyed farmed Chinese Caviar as well, very nice it is too.

They like sustainability, the Chinese, they understand scale quite well.
permalink PS. Also, the Chinese will make a kuai out of you if they
can, blame your supermarket supply chain, not them.

PPS. Go to a fucking fishmonger.
permalink fishmongers are few and far between unfortunately
too late to save them with horsefish (like butchers). we've got a fish van that comes to the village once a week, that's the closest I've been to a proper monger in years. He's bastard expensive, vut he does have some good stuff.
permalink Yes, I didn't intend to blame the Chinese as such,
and I have no particular issue with their fish, I'm sure it's lovely.

It is the supply chain, however, which has something labelled as cod which isn't. When this happened with horse/beef, I was fairly sanguine, because I always assumed that cheap processed meat had worse stuff than horse in it, and for the price paid, you undertake some risk I think.
However, not choosing cod is one of the few things I've done as a consumer in a concious attempt to affect the market, and it turns out that people may have been passing something else off as cod anyway.
Secondly. fish and chips is not massively cheap these days, so it seems to me like there should be a greater degree of control over what can be sold as what than there is in the £1 lasagne market.

Going to a fishmonger is all fine and dandy, and I do if I'm cooking myself, but I was specifically referring to fish and chips, which I am not equiped to prepare myself at home.
permalink I disagree. It's not ok to lie on a label no matter how much you're paying.
If a label states beef then it should be beef, even if it's a £1 ready meal.
permalink Of course, you're right,
however, the expectation of dodginess increases as the price decreases, and we're deluding ourselves if we think that some people won't bend or break the rules if they can benefit by doing so.
permalink I disagree.
I fucking loathe salmon in all its forms, but love a trout, gurnard, bass, pollock or mackerel.
permalink I once had a battered hot smoked salmon fillet
it was horrible
permalink fucking weirdo
...
permalink fucking weirdo
...
permalink It's the only sashimi I like
permalink ooh no no no
cod is much blander than a nice bit of haddock. milky and dull and boring. haddock, that's your fella.
permalink this
always confused me a bit that whilst in Scotland, the default is usually Haddock in chippies, England goes for Cod.
permalink depends on which bit you're from I think
as with so many things in life.
permalink I do love me a bit of salt cod though
them iberians know what they're doing
permalink I agree. I prefer haddock
and whenever I've had a bit of haddock that doesn't taste very haddocky I've presumed it was a crap bit of fish rather than a bit of non-haddock.
permalink I bought a brace of bream today
for to steam with herbs and white wine

I know it's bream because like a good middle classer I looked up its mugshot in my hugh firley-whirley book
permalink I trust you've selected the accompaniments
using the flavour dictionary which is now ubiquitous in all good middle class households?
permalink I just threw something together
from what I picked up on my way past* that our local organic grocer** pete*** happened to have in season**** today

*special trip across town
**waitrose
***unnamed student
****somewhere in the world, probably
permalink Like you I would always specify Haddock
I had heard of many places serving 'fish' and chips where the fish was some manner of not great tasting chinese river fish (probably best avoided given the state of the rivers in the news anyway)

All about making sure they can tell you what fish it is and where it came from.

[edit] weekend was grand thanks, ate at some cracking pubs, The George Hotel in Stamford and The Rancliffe Arms in Bunny. Would highly recommend both if anyone ever happens upon one or t'other.
permalink I always have haddock
because haddock is best. but yes, I see your point. Weekend was painting/DIY, bit of a bike ride in the snow (not as far as Al, more snow when I went), lunch at the mother-in-law's, Monday in the pub. Could be worse.
permalink I'm a haddock man, me,
but don't mind cod or whatever that cod substitute was that supermarkets renamed 'colin'. For some reason. Salmon can fuck off.

Awesome weekend, basically doing fuck all apart from drinking with mates. Sunday was a proper hoot when cambridge invaded, and yesterday's hangover was so bad my teeth hurt. Finally discovered I CAN get drunk on guinness but I have to drink ALL the guinness.

Tonight I've fitted an AUX IN to the stereo in the car thanks to an excellent tip on the UKPassats forum. *flexes soldering muscles*
permalink There's a loot of salmon hating going on on this 'board!
I agree, proper salmon is not for battering and frying, and rock salmon is a horrific abomination, but you can't beat a nice poached salmon, or a grilled salmon steak, or some smoked salmon, probably for breakfast with scrambled or poached eggs and hollandaise on toast.

mmmm, salmon...

Can you tell I'm fasting today?
permalink Also
TOTN - Veruca Salt - Seether - http://youtu.be/jC9AUR...
permalink great, my earworm
as I head to bed :P

tune though!
permalink Excellent weekend, thanks.
I had hake from a chippy on a harbour in south africa. It was the nicest fish and chips I've had and we sat by the sea to eat it.
thread Time for a quick
TOTN:

Isis - In Fiction - http://youtu.be/sopiG1...
permalink as opposed to a slow TOTN?
http://www.youtube.com... try it you might like it..
permalink Reminds me of
Explosions In The Sky

Try this - http://youtu.be/lqRJco...
permalink that's rather awesome
reminds me a bit of Biosphere
permalink it;s pretty much every sun00000)))) track
you've ever heard

in fact i'm singing 'Waterloo' while gargling lead.. it sounds just like that
permalink Heard the Sunn0)))
tracks sped up?

http://youtu.be/_BGXgm...
permalink yeah i played some to stephen at a theatre gig they were doing
he wasn't impressd but boris pissed himself laughing
permalink A wild cockup appears!
There's a surprise.

edit: I'm going to rant because I can.

1/4 of our trust is now owned by another trust as of yesterday. So this morning I removed them from the system I manage.

Two hours later I had to put them all back under the instruction of a director. No explanation has been given but apparently it's fine for staff who don't work for us to have sysadmin access to my systems. I'm in a really bad mood now.
permalink Give it a month and
IT WON'T MATTER AT ALL.
permalink I know, but it's bothering me today
and hinders my plan to leave them a smoothly running and accurate system. Mainly so that I know that when I get called back here as part of my new job every fuck-up is theirs.
permalink In my experience,
it matters not whether the system is smooth running and accurate, any problems will be blamed on you anyway.
Plus with your new gig, you'll have to fix it anyway.
permalink Aye, but _I'll_ know.
`
permalink Better give everybody admin rights
just to be sure.
permalink if you just let everyone
have access to everyone else's medical records it would be a lot easier.
permalink And you call yourself a sysadmin?
"I am afraid it is quite impossible for users who are not part of our trust to have access - it is a breach of security and DPA - my hands are tied".
permalink I call myself a Risk Team Administrator and Data Officer
because that's my job title. DPA is an interesting one.
permalink I call myself a Solutions Consultant
because it is meaningless.
permalink You don't provide solutions,
you can merely be consulted about them.
permalink Basically yes.
They need a solution, I look at their available solutions and say "hmm . . . That one".
permalink http://www.generatorla...
...
permalink Dr Who Tube map
http://www.crispian.ne...
permalink Cor.
That's great.
permalink "he's dead!"


RIP Jesús
permalink Have you checked
the cave?
permalink Lina Romay is dead.
She died last year.

Is that from The erotic rites of Frankenstein?
thread this post
contains no lies
permalink neither does this one
(a) because it is 20:51 already
and
(b) because April's fool are almost all* a complete load of bollocks

*spaghetti trees aside, possibly
permalink I'm almost ashamed to say
I quite like this from Metro

The Buzzfeed one especially
permalink the new BMW P.R.A.M
in the torygraph today was inspired.
permalink i see manley is moonlighting as an actor now
quite convincing as a village idiot In the Flesh
permalink anyone got any ideas for April fools pranks I can play on Mr & Mrs Jam?
I was thinking of cooking them breakfast and giving them a knackered old cooker, but it seems like the scheme needs more finesse and focus somehow.
permalink I'm glad nobody replied.
`
permalink They all PM'd me.
You've not found the turd in the oven then?
permalink Ah, I presumed it was parkin
that'd overspilled the tin. Cos that looks so like shit that you can really freak people out when you eat it.
permalink so, um
the new Dr Who assistant. I've somehow discovered a picture of her. One for the saddo middle aged leering brigade and no mistake.
permalink wasn't she on Emmerdale
or something? So, saucy shots in Loaded?
permalink I'm undecided.
She's new. Don't like change.
permalink I was like that
with Matt Smith.

(I still am)
permalink I was at first because he didn't look like Dr Who
But I soon grew to love Matt Smith
permalink I think she is
going to be alright . . .
permalink Link me up
scotty.
permalink if you
insist
permalink is it just me
or does she have very very thin arms?
permalink And a big ole boobymole
to boot
permalink perspective
is a cruel and unpredictable mistress
permalink She does
I don't think it is just perspective.
permalink she also reminds me of a doctor's assistant
from many years ago...possibly Davidson/Baker era
permalink Nicola Bryant?
http://images.tvrage.c...
permalink bollocks to middle-aged
leering, she's older than me! *rubs thighs*

Peri was always my favourite assistant, even if she WAS from that Canadia.
permalink nothing wrong with Canadian girls
I mean, look at Justin Bieber

oh...
permalink possibly, although I think there was another one
and crikey, Peri got her boobs* out more that I remember

*even her side-boobs
/Peter Griffin
permalink you'll be thinking of
Sophie Aldred (Ace)
permalink She used to like
flashing her gusset I seem to remember
permalink She was on Pointless celebrities the other day.
Most disappointing.
permalink yes
yes I was...
permalink blimey a kids program
that has a bit of eye candy for the dads.. when did that start happening
permalink I'm just going to bang this here
http://www.spin.com/ar...

so I remember in the morning. ps, the spin website is bloated and shit.
permalink cor
that looks quite tasty
permalink yeah, looks interesting
need to work out when it's released/how much it costs.
permalink Mid-June
£50