Monday, February 14, 2011

Hopeless romantic

Too many computers?
Valentine's Day arrived, and what better way to spend it than by sitting on the sofa at home on my own, with three different computers blaring at me as I wrestled with the in-and-outs of Javascript, trying to get my automatic comedian to talk on the web at last.

Finally, after half a year of mucking about with linux, faffing about in spreadsheets and faffing about in linux again, and after sitting on a plane on the way to Malaysia trying to think of the most appropriate way to connect two different words, it's just about done. I need to tidy up the web page it sits on (currently it's a new definition of ugliness) and yell at a system administrator so I can actually upload it to, and then at last I'll have the beast ready to go. My only worry now is whether the man it's been based on will like it, or hate it, or tell me that I've wasted six months of my life on something that's already been done twice before, and three times better.

I'm hoping not. I'm hoping he finds it funny, if only for a minute or two, although given it has around 2.5 billion possible outputs, it might take a while to exhaust all the alternatives it offers. And this is only Automatic Funny Man v1.0; if it is well received, I could start chugging away on Automatic Funny Man v2.0, which should actually start to talk back to people, rather than just yell out inanities at the internet.
One of the great things about this job is life (which is just a lot of squelching at the same time). But I've only produced contempt when I tell this to people which don't always realise they have to listen to me first - I wonder if you like that? I am going to waste the better part of the day that Rod Hull would thank me. But don't think I can take responsibility, or even that I could make work (for very little remuneration), when I know I am going to die in the next 50 years anyway. Besides, I spend most of my time listening to idiots. As for me, I went to bed before before ... Just, saying. Anyone? Is this mike working?
If he doesn't like it, of course, I can parlay what I've learned from this into my Automatic Jane Austen Impersonator, which I will attempt to get to talk to My First Charles Dickens Revenant, in an unholy mash-up of undead authors, spouting apparently meaningful words back and forth.

As I said, Valentine's Day. But that's not all I did today. Goodness no, I'm not such a horrible person, devoid of love in my heart that I would choose to spend all of the 14th of February sat on the sofa, building electronic facsimiles of real people. No, I took my trousers off when a woman asked me to.

No, not like that. I had to take some jeans to get hemmed by our tailor in Causeway Bay, and the reason I had to dispose of my trousers was so I could put on the jeans so she could see how much length to remove. (I did so behind a curtain - it's not the kind of swinging clothshop where customers wander in and whip off their trousers in full view of a slightly demented guy with a big pair of scissors, you know. Actually, that could be a business opportunity. I daresay I could open the first combination cut-price suit and male-stripper emporium in the whole of Hong Kong. Although I'll be shut down faster than you can blink, unless I first apply for a license as a foot massage parlour and buy a couple of old sofas, if the article on the front page of the South China Morning Post the other week was anything to go by.)

But I'm not just mouth and no trousers. I think I displayed some real, red-blooded, manly passion this evening too.

Although that was when I was alone in the flat, and discovered that there was no clean crockery in the kitchen and threw a ten minute strop, shouting and screaming at the saucepan as I tried ineffectually to wash the dirt from it, before giving up on it as a bad lot and heating up some soup in a microwave.

Yeah, that's right. There ain't no Valentine's Day like a Valentine's Day that involves microwaved soup, people.


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