South Park Self

grown inside a plastic box

For some reason the recent Garden XKCD won't load on my work computer, probably because complicated campus firewalls or something - you go to the page and all it gives you is a revolving tree silhouette with the word "LOADING" and a flashing ellipsis, with the mouseover "Relax." I thought that was the whole strip, and it was perfect - that's exactly what you do with a garden, relax and wait for everything to load.

Currently I am delighting in a random corner of my real-life container garden which is slowly and carefully loading three butternut squash plants, the result of me, in a fit of pique at having an entire tray of baby marrow seedlings eaten off at ground level by cutworm, madly planting 6 seeds from a butternut I happened to have for dinner one evening. I'm fairly useless at seeds, a 50% germination rate is bloody good by my standards, but as long as I can keep the neighbourhood tomcat from jumping on them in the course of his flee-the-garden escape route when I shout at him for stealing my cats' food and/or spraying in the passage, they seem to be doing well. In the meanwhile, the XKCD comic is growing things under lights on my home computer, although I cannot as yet persuade it to produce anything other than a row of identical boring trees. I love the way Randall Munroe's mind works, the controls for the lights are elegantly simple.

In a tangentially related note (technological replications of biological processes?), I give you Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group, because delightful. They solemnly and meticulously catalogue the taxonomical classifications of the little plastic widgets used to close bread bags.

In other news also not unentirely related to the unduly artificial mechanical replication of actual life processes, last night Machete Order brought us to re-watch Attack of the Clones. I had honestly forgotten (a) most of the movie, I clearly blanked it in sheer self-defence, and (b) how utterly terrible a film it is. Seriously: the plot sucks, the script blows, the dialogue is beyond lame and unnatural, the greenscreen is ungodly clunky, the "romance" "plot" is the unconvincing bumping together of two wooden effigies, one of them loutish, and the whole represents the utter triumph of overbudgeted CGI over reason, taste or the faintest replication of actual life. Unsurprisingly, given that it focuses on the CGI clashes of droids and clones rather than actual people, the whole thing can be summed up with "Newsflash: I don't care." Honestly, George, it takes a special level of anti-skill to make giant battles between droids, clones and Jedi knights actually boring.

We still have to endure Revenge of the Sith, although probably only when Jo gets back from AfricaBurns. Anyone know any good drinking games? I have time to train my liver up a bit...
Am reading that really long Machete Order blog post. Loving it. Segued into watching that video of children's faces upon hearing "I am your father".

Bother. Continued reading anyway. Now see a link at the bottom to blog post on Episode VII.
Argh! What have you done to me?! As if marking wasn't hard enough anyway!

< retires muttering into tottering piles of test scripts >
Does it make me intrinsically evil that my occasional ability to distract you with random geeky shit from the internet is one of my little joys? because it really is...

Not exactly *evil* as such...

I planned to save that page for later reading over a cup of coffee but had to actually close it and throw my hands in the air, shouting "marking!", hopefully not to the distress of anyone passing by.
I Grew a Bush, then gave up!
All the best at keeping the tomcat off. They sell plants over here reputed to keep cats off - apparently they're pretty stinky. As we, at present, have no cat problem, only snails, I've not bothered to investigate further. Now if they had a plant to deter snails . . .

I've been carefully nurturing seeds and seedlings in our front room windowsill (augmented with glass shelves) for a while now. Soon I shall have to commit them to the garden - where they will be at the mercy of the snails and, possibly, get eaten off at or near ground level!

As for CGI in films. Too many modern films seem to be but a showcase for the CGI 'artists' and have even less plot than your average pre-CGI used to. Hmmm.

And the Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group obviously had too much time, and money, on their hands. Both of which could have been better used. Reminds me of a paper I heard about on different ways to wash a cup!

How can Education scream about 'cuts' when people turn out such?
Re: I Grew a Bush, then gave up!
Currently a makeshift spiked pit trap is not in any way keeping the tom from landing on the spring onions, very neatly between the bamboo stakes. I am moderately hypersensitive to scent and am profoundly disinclined towards stinky anti-cat bushes, alas! But I have discovered that snailbait also seems to kill cutworms...