b3ta.com user Horatio P Lemming
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The not quite so mediocre stuff is at the bottom. In the meantime, here's some random crap to fill space.

I used two whole tubes, but I think the job's a good 'un

From the sinking ferry full of BMWs incident

More of the same

Nice watch

All of those drugs in the 60s. Is it any wonder Captain Kirk got the munchies?

Due to an administrative error, Betty's cornea transplants had gone horribly wrong.

The cow tippers thought Daisy was a horrible spoilsport

To boldly go round in circles, where no-one has gone before

Hi Jack!

The whole menu looks tempting, but I think I'll try the Smurf'n'Turf

It's just a shame that they ran out of money before they could finish it off

It's manic down at The Triffid Centre

Jenny always went for the strong, silent type

Damn those bloody Scouse polar bears!

Recent front page messages:

Yummy... or maybe not.
Succulent pieces of shaped potato. The perfect accompaniment to any meal.
(Thu 3rd Apr 2003, 12:47, More)

A vegetarian sausage, a motorbike and the wide open road
No vegans were harmed during the shopping of this image.
(Fri 14th Mar 2003, 10:39, More)

The original credit sequence was criticised
for being far too true to life
I was going to make a nice animation of it, but my crappy paint package (Photoplus 8) crashes every time I try

Edit: Seeing as it frontpaged, I've made it into a 'click for biggy'
(Thu 6th Mar 2003, 13:31, More)

Much as Derek loved sport
He couldn't get the hang of the 100 metre hurdles
(Fri 8th Nov 2002, 15:32, More)

New Virgin SuperTrain revealed

Able to leap defective sections of track in a single bound!
(Thu 25th Jul 2002, 9:37, More)

I can't believe it's not been done before
The perfect gift for the man who has everything, but still can't fucking hummus.
(Fri 14th Jun 2002, 9:22, More)

Best answers to questions:

» My computer gave away my secrets

A proper outage
Going back over a decade, a friend of mine had run out of space on his PC. Not a problem, I had a spare hard drive kicking around the office, so I offered to lend it to him until he could afford a bigger one.

A few months later, he gave it back to me as he'd upgraded and the drive was no longer required. I didn't really need it either, so it just sat in a desk drawer for a while.

Then came the question: "You did format that drive before you re-used it, didn't you?" The answer out of my mouth was "Yes, I'm pretty sure I did." The answer going on in my head was "I haven't, and I wonder why I should have done."

So it was now dilemma time. Conscience versus curiosity, and no prizes for guessing which won. The drive was loaded to the hilt with gay porn, both pictures and stories.

I pondered on it for a while and eventually made up some bullshit story about finding the drive months later, wondering what it was and so having a look and finding all of this stuff. The result? He rather dramatically came out of the closet. To me, to his family, to anyone who was prepared to listen.

But my role didn't end there. He needed a lot of hand-holding, and as a result, him, me and a gay friend of mine ended up touring the seedier gay bars of Liverpool. I didn't have a problem with that (worst case scenario is I'd have to say "sorry mate, I'm not interested") but to make matters more interesting, I'd developed a severe bladder infection and on one night kept meeting the same blokes in the toilet who no doubt thought I was there for the same reasons that they were.

But 'mind opening' experiences aside, he's now happily paired off (well as happy as you can be in a long-term monogamous relationship) and at least nobody's wondering why he can't find a girlfriend anymore. I often wonder how much longer he'd have carried on living the lie if I hadn't mentioned what I'd found on that hard drive.
(Mon 13th Feb 2006, 22:37, More)

» Shoplifting

Does this really count as theft?
It was a school camping trip donkey's years ago. I don't really remember much about it except that on one occasion we all went swimming at a local leisure centre.

I was one of those kids who couldn't resist pressing buttons. A vending machine in the lobby had plenty of them on, so I pressed a few to wile away the time.

I pressed one, and it dispensed a bag of crisps. I hadn't put any money in it. This was interesting.

Further experimentation showed that about half of the lines in the machine were on free vend. By the time I'd figured this one out, word had spread and we all had our kit bags to hand to stuff full of crisps and chocolate bars.

Having emptied every single line that was vending for free, we went for our swim. By the time we were due to leave, someone had re-stocked the machine, so we did it all again.

I don't think I ever lost any sleep over it.
(Thu 10th Jan 2008, 12:41, More)

» Workplace Boredom

Turbo Trundling
I might have done this one before, but if I did then it was years ago, so please forgive me.

In a previous job, the boss wasn't particularly well liked or respected, and used to sod off on business trips for days on end, leaving the rabble to look after themselves.

The workplace was an almost empty industrial unit with a concrete floor, and this proved perfect for 'trundling.' Originally, this amounted to pretending to row your office chair around the room with invisible oars, but it soon evolved into quite an agressive game of trundle football using a plastic washing detergent ball.

When that got boring, we upped the ante and invented 'Turbo Trundling.' This involved opening the big roller door to the car park outside and being towed out at high speed, hanging on to the back of one guy's Yamaha 125. The trick was to let go at the right time and be able to stop before hitting the fence. We didn't always get it right.

I wore out the soles on a pair of trainers in under a month just from braking. As for the office chairs - worn out and broken wheels were the norm. The boss was most upset, as he'd paid for top quality furniture and thought he'd been ripped off. I remember him calling the office supplier round and laying into him for the poor quality of his product. We all felt sorry for the guy because it wasn't his fault, but we still carried on.

Length? I'd say about 25 yards from the back wall of the loading bay to the fence on the other side of the car park.
(Thu 8th Jan 2009, 13:33, More)

» DIY Techno-hacks

MkIII Escort Mod
I melted the accessories circuit in my 1984 Escort (note to self: If fuses keep blowing, don't just wrap 'em in tin foil and shove 'em back in.) I was driving along and smoke started pouring out of the dash. I had to take the key out to prevent a fire, which locked the steering at around 30mph and meant I ended up on the pavement.

The wiring was totally melted, so I ended up powering the stereo through the accessory loop on my Moss* car alarm. I used this circuit to power a relay, which in turn worked the stereo. The stereo came on when the alarm was turned off, and vice-versa. A neat touch was that I'd also added an electric aerial, which went up and down as a part of the process.

When I finally came to sell the car (1990) I'm sure it was the remote controlled aerial that clinched the deal.

I later got a 1993 Mazda 323F and wired the alarm to flash the pop-up headlights rather than the indicators. I thought it was pretty funky at the time, but with hindsight it probably just made me look like a tosser.

Another tin-foil bodge I used a number of times was when I left my laptop mains lead at home while working away. The power brick took a standard kettle plug, but a lot of hotels have those kettles where the plug is moulded into the base. Unplug the kettle from the wall, tear up two metal strips of Kit-Kat wrapping, poke them into the holes in the socket, and then arrange for them to touch the power pins on the laptop power brick. Worked every time.

*Remember Moss alarms in the early 80s? Jesus, they were shit. I had the one with the interior ultrasonics where a fraction of a millimetre turn of the screw made the difference between the sensors doing nothing even if you jumped around in front of them, or setting the alarm off if a Peekingese farted at 50 paces.
(Sat 22nd Aug 2009, 10:15, More)

» The Boss

Too much ambition? Or just nuts?
My ex-boss was onto a good thing. He and another guy had got together developing simple computer applications for a little niche in the market. He was the business brains, and the other guy was the techie brains. It was going very well, so a friend was recruited as more techie brains, and I ended up on the bandwagon too.

This could have worked. It was raking in enough money to keep them both in a pleasant enough lifestyle, but it wasn't enough. This guy wasn't going to be happy until he was running something with a seven figure turnover. He hired a factory unit, and proceeded to stuff it full of programming staff.

This was where it all went wrong. He'd start project after project, and then shelve each one weeks or even months into development because he'd had a better idea. Most of the products were based on what would be useful to him or his business. What the potential customers actually wanted seemed to be irrelevant.

But the biggest mistake was supposedly the cleverest part of the plan: Hire talented but unqualified programming staff, and pay them bottom dollar. That worked fine when they were just hacking out code, but then he decided to promote some of us to management roles.

We didn't have a clue, and we certainly didn't have much in the way of discipline or self-control. Every time he'd run off to a meeting, we'd be flying round the car park on office chairs, hanging off one guy's Yamaha. Even the projects that he didn't lose interest in never got finished.

The company found itself briefly in administration while one lucrative contract was sold off, before being wound up. He took the opportunity to come round to several of our houses and personally call us "cunts" (This was years before the Internet, let alone b3ta, so I hadn't heard the word much prior to that.)

When I left, I courteously thanked him for giving me the experience I'd need to get a proper job.
(Thu 18th Jun 2009, 20:04, More)
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