Spoken vs. Written

Over on his site, Charlie Stross talks about the differences between prose and dialogue, and a writing experiment he plans to work on.

It’s a really interesting piece, and a fascinating concept – writing the prose, and using speech recognition software to do the dialogue pieces of the writing.I’ll be interested to see how it all works out.

Size Perceptions

Of late, I’ve been watching a number of things around weight on TV, in particular “Supersize vs Superskinny” on Channel 4.

Intellectually, I know I’m overweight, and need to lose the weight – and I do intend to do so. But my mind and emotions don’t show me I’m fat. I don’t really see myself as fat – despite the name of the site – or at least not necessarily in the way that sees myself as really fat. I’m a big guy anyway – I weigh 24 stone (152Kg, 340 lbs), and 6’4″ (193 cm) tall, with a 50″ chest. That’s chest, not stomach – and my shoulders are wide too. So even when I’ve lost weight, I’m still not going to be in (probably) even a “Large” size, because of the structure of my skeleton.

It’s hard to explain how I feel about my body, or what I see, but I’ll have a go.

On the TV programmes, I’ll see someone who is heavier than me, but they’re visibly far fatter than I am. And I mean *massively* so – these people, some of whom are of a related weight, but they’re covered in fat and ripples, have problems walking, that kind of thing. And I just can’t relate to them at all, I can’t compare their lives and bodies to my own.

As I said, I know intellectually that I need to lose weight – I’m under no illusions about that. I’m not fit, and I want to lose some weight and improve my fitness. But in some way I still don’t see the urgency.

What annoys me more is that I also can’t really compare what I eat with what the people on the TV programmes eat. I’m not perfect, not by any estimation. But I don’t eat a load of the crap that the TV people eat – I’m not stuffing myself all day with chocolate, doughnuts, cakes and the like, nor am I eating 5 meals a day, living on take-aways and convenience food, snacking all day, or any of the other sins I’ve seen.

As it is, my normal daily intake is something like :

  • Breakfast
    • 2 slices of wholemeal toast with butter and jam
    • large glass orange juice (currently OJ and Lime from Tropicana)
  • Lunch
    • Two wholemeal rolls, usually with ham and Branston pickle®™
  • Evening Meal – Largest meal, something like
    • a pasta bolognese
    • sausages and mash
    • jacket potato
    • and other similar meals

And that’s it. I only really drink Diet Coke – and I know I drink too much of that, but it’s the only thing I enjoy drinking.

So I don’t really know what I can change or cut down. I need to improve my exercise levels, that’s the main thing. But food-wise? There’s not a lot to cut out, so far as I can tell.

All told, it’s a bit frustrating. I know I need to do something, but I don’t quite know what I can do – and all the normal suggestions and quick-fixes or easy solutions don’t apply in the first place.

I’ll figure it out – I always do – but in the meantime, I’ll just keep on trying things as I go along.

We’ll see.

Celebrity SharkTank

Over on Twitter today, I was having a conversation with a couple of friends, and an idea came to.  It would never be made – but we can dream…

The idea, as the title of this post suggests, would be Celebrity SharkTank. (Or Celebrities Swimming with Sharks – either way)

The premise – and this is the good bit – is to take ten ‘celebrities’, and let them go swimming with a whole swarm of sharks. Great Whites, Makos, Hammerheads, all the good ones.  Throw in a bit of chum (bloody meat/fish, if you didn’t know) and you’ve got a TV programme to be proud of.

The ‘Winner’ of the programme would be the last one alive. Of course, if the recovery crew were really slow at getting to the ‘Winner’, would anyone care?


[also cross-posted to my other blog at D4D, just for the hell of it]

Recently I’ve noticed a similar ‘message’ in at least two songs on Radio 1‘s current playlist. I know, I’m way outside the target demographic for R1, and blah blah, but I just can’t bring myself to switch to either Radio 2, or some godawful commercial hunk of crap.


First is Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”…

They say that the world was built for two
Only worth living if somebody is loving you

Second is Nervo’s “We’re all no-one”

We’re all no one ’til someone thinks that we’re someone
‘Til then we’re no one

Notice the similarity?

In both cases, supposedly there’s nothing good in the world, unless we’re with someone else.

And that really pisses me off.

Hidden Messages

Intrusive Rudeness

I’d forgotten about this ’til now, but it annoyed me at the time.

Over the weekend, I went in to the local Asda store.Along with some other things, I bought some Diet Coke in 500ml bottles. I prefer them that way for drinking in the car, or whatever.

Anyway, I got to the till, and put them on the conveyor belt thingy. At which point the woman stood behind me pointed at them and said “Osteoporosis“.

*shrug* OK, weird. I know, but frankly what business is it of yours, lady?

Obviously she hadn’t stuck her nose in enough yet…

That’s really bad for you, you know

Yep, I know. Mind you, I’ve always said that it’s either Diet Coke, or I can take up heroin instead.

Her daughter laughed out loud.

And I can’t imagine all that chocolate and sweetener you’re buying is going to do you any good.



But really, how fucking rude do you have to be, to shove your (unwanted) opinion in someone else’s face in the middle of a supermarket?

So, I’ve now linked this site to my Twitter page

With luck, this will be the first Fat Al post to show on Fat Al’s twitter…

Twitter Connected

One of the things I’m working on at the moment is my identity on social networks.

On Twitter I’m already FatAlDotCom – although there’s not much going on there yet.

On Facebook I’m also FatAlDotCom – and again, there’s not much there yet.

Social Network stuff is just another of the facets of this entire project, but it’s something that has to be done.

Social Identity

Deleting Your History

On March 1st, Google’s privacy policy is changing.

If you don’t want your web history stored past that date, you need to delete it in the next week. If you leave it ’til 1st March, it will be too late – you need to have done it by the end of 29th Feb.

The EFF has a useful page here about how to delete your Google web history.

E.L Doctorow on writing novels :

“It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Make it up as you go along